Journal Of Applied Horticulture ISSN: 0972-1045


S.S. Miller, C. Hott and T. Tworkoski

USDA-ARS, 2217 Wiltshire Road, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV 25430, USA.

Key words: Apple, carbohydrate, fruit quality, productivity

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2015, volume 17, issue 2, pages 101-105.

Abstract: Light is a critical resource needed by plants for growth and reproduction. A major portion of the apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) tree’s canopy is subjected to shade during most daylight hours each day and such shade may affect productivity. The current research determined effects of morning, afternoon, and all-day shading on processes that are significant to orchard productivity. In 1996 ‘Ginger Gold’/M.9 apple trees were planted in the field near Kearneysville, WV and shade treatments were imposed from 2002 to 2005. Trunk and branch growth were reduced consistently by morning shade (MS) compared to no shade (NS) and full shade (FS) and afternoon shade (AS) had intermediate effects. Total branch growth from 2002 to 2005 was 164, 168, 145, and 157 cm for FS, NS, MS, and AS, respectively. Although shade affected yield inconsistently from year-to-year, total yield from 2002 to 2005 was 7.8, 201.6, 72.5, and 110.6 kg/tree for FS, NS, MS, and AS, respectively. Time of shading clearly affected yield with full shade causing the greatest reduction, followed by partial shade treatments, MS and AS. Concentrations of soluble carbohydrates, particularly sorbitol, were greater in leaves of AS compared to MS. It is postulated that MS may have adversely affected photosynthesis at a time of day that was most conducive to high net assimilation. Planting and training apple trees to minimize shade, especially morning shade, may benefit orchard productivity.

Shade effects on growth, flowering and fruit of apple

Journal of Applied Horticulture