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Journal of Applied Horticulture. 2003: 5(2): 69-75

The impact of panicle and shoot pruning on inflorescence and yield related developments in some mango cultivars

Yeshitela, T; Robbertse, P J; Stassen, P J C

Department of Plant Sciences, Alemaya University, P.O. Box 165 Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

In a study conducted at Bavaria Estate, Hoedspruit, the northern province of South Africa, the mango cultivars Keitt and Tommy Atkins were subjected to the following treatments over 2 seasons: (1) inflorescence removal at the point of apical bud attachment during full bloom; (2) inflorescence removal together with apical whorl of leaves subtending the inflorescence (about 5 cm from the tip) during full bloom; (3) removal of 50% of the total inflorescences (every alternate shoot of the tagged branches) together with apical whorl of leaves subtending the inflorescence during full bloom; (4) renewal pruning where 20-30% of termination shoots with weak, misshaped and small fruits were cut back to a suitable node in October; (5) postharvest pruning where termination shoots that had been bearing fruits the previous season were cut back to a suitable node; (6) removal of terminal buds just before bud break; and (7) no pruning treatments (control). Pruning at the point of apical bud attachment induced re-flowering, more rapid fruit development and more fruits per panicle than the other treatments. Renewal and postharvest pruning also induced a well-synchronized inflorescence development and adequate number of productive inflorescences per season. Postharvest pruning recorded significantly higher values for the vegetative growth parameters of both cultivars. A promising yield increment could be obtained from pruning treatments after the second season, especially from panicle pruning at the apical bud attachment and shoot pruning treatments, for Tommy Atkins. On the other hand, Keitt was not responsive to the pruning treatments in terms of the various parameters observed.


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