Submitted to: Annual Cumberland Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 11, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Management of tree size and excess vegetative growth is a significant expense to orchardists. Scoring tree trunks has been used to inhibit undesirable shoot growth but response to scoring has varied, possibly due to imprecision of cutting a tree with a saw blade or knife. Restricting trunk diameter enlargement with a band tightened to a specified tension could allow more precise trunk restriction for controlling undesirable shoot growth. An experiment was conducted during the 2000 and 2001 growing seasons to compare the effects of scoring with banding of tree trunks on growth in apple and peach trees. Apple and peach tree trunks were either cut with a shallow notch in a double spiral pattern that did not encircle the trunk (score) or the trunk was completely encircled by a steel clamp and tightened to a desired tension for most of the growing season (band). In the first season of treatment (2000), scoring suppressed growth of peach hearly in the growing season and growth of apple for the entire season. Banding did not significantly suppress shoot growth in either species but it reduced photosynthesis. In the second season after treatment (2001) peach shoot growth was reduced nearly 33% by scoring or banding, but apple shoot growth was not affected by either trunk restriction treatment. In the first season after treatment, yield of apple and peach trees was increased by scoring or banding. Scoring reduced vegetative growth and increased yield in apple the first season of treatment and banding had similar effects the second season of treatment. A modification of these trunk restriction treatments may help reduce undesirable shoot growth and increase yield.