Effect of Pruning on Productivity in Sweet Orange
AbstractTo sustainable production of quality fruits in eight year old sweet orange plants of cv. Mosambi budded onto Citrus jambheri rootstock, and grown in laterite soil at Jhargram, Paschim Medinipur, a canopy management trial was conducted for two consecutive years. The treatments included T1: No pruning; T2: Removal of dead and dry shoots and branches; T3: T2 + Removal of thin shoots and water-sprouts arising from the leaders at 90° angle; T4: T3 + Removal of selected laterals; T5: T4 + Removal of selected leaders for formation of open-centre-canopy. Randomized Block Design with five replications was set up. Results indicated that fruit production improved with regular pruning. Significantly high fruit retention (68%) with maximum number of fruits (250) was recorded in plants where open-canopy was maintained by judicious removal of the leaders, laterals, thin shoots and dead wood. Trees with open-canopy not only resulted in 71.4% increase in fruit number, but also enhanced fruit weight by 17.9% over Control. Significantly good fruit quality in terms of TSS, total sugars and Vitamin C content was recorded in fruits from the open canopy treatment. Dry weight of shoots / branch was lowest (1.50kg) in open-canopy treatment and highest in the unpruned Control (3.0kg). Foliar N, P and K status did not vary significantly with different pruning practices.
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