Feasibility of peach bloom thinning with hand-held mechanical devices

Journal ar
Scientia Horticulturae
  • Volumen: 129
  • Número: 1
  • Fecha: 25 May 2011
  • Páginas: 91-97
  • ISSN: 03044238
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2011.03.012
  • Document Type: Article
The use of hand-held mechanical devices to thin blooms of peach trees trained into the " free Italian vase" form was studied. Three devices were tested, and no differences were found among them in terms of thinning time and number of fruits per cm2 of trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA) at harvesting. Thinning, by hand or mechanically, reduced the yield per tree by 26-33% with respect to not thinning; however, thinning increased the fruit size. In both years, the yields of fruit >67mm in the thinned trees ranged from 40.4 to 53.4kgtree-1, respectively, whereas in the un-thinned trees, it was 25.1 and 18.2kgtree-1 in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Hand thinning took 385hha-1, and mechanical thinning reduced this time by 89%. The cost of hand thinning was 4.8z¿tree-1, whereas the cost of mechanical thinning ranged from 0.4 to 1.1z¿tree-1. The economic study showed that the total yield value was similar with hand and mechanical thinning, but the cost of mechanical thinning was only 10-18% that of hand thinning. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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