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Fruit Varieties Journal
(Fruit Var J)

American Pomological Society

Volume 47 Number 4 Article 4 Pages: 198-204
Year 1993 Month 10
Title: Early Performance of Four Apple Cultivars, Supported or Free Standing, on Mark Rootstock
Authors: P.K. Andrews and C.R. Rom
'Nicobel Jonagold,' Imperial Gala,' 'Early Red One Delicious' and 'Ultragold' apple trees on Mark rootstock were planted at Pullman, WA in 1988. Trees were either free standing or sup ported with a 60 or 180 cm post above ground. After 5 years, 'Jonagold' trees had the largest trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA), followed by 'Imperial Gala,' 'Early Red One' and 'Ultragold.' The cumulative yields/tree were almost 45 kg for 'Jonagold,' 30 kg for 'Imperial Gala' and about 15 kg for both 'Early Red One' and 'Ultragold.' Biennial bearing was observed in 1991 for 'Jonagold' and 'Ultragold' trees. 'Imperial Gala' trees exhibited the most consistent cropping. In the fourth and fifth years, the mean weight of fruits produced on 'Jonagold' and 'Early Red One' was >200 g. The largest mean fruit weight was 249 g for 'Early Red One' in 1992, due to low yields and fruit numbers per tree. The mean fruit weight of 'Imperial Gala' averaged 165 g in the fourth and fifth years. 'Ultragold' fruit were consistently small. The yield efficiencies of all cultivars were <1.0 kg fruit/cm2 TCSA, due to the large TCSAs. Crop density exceeded 9 fruit/cm2 TCSA for 'Ultragold' trees in 1990, but generally was between 2-4 fruit/cm2 TCSA. Supporting the trees with a post had no effect on any of the above parameters. There was more mortality among free-standing trees than supported trees in the first 3 years of the planting. More than 25 of the 'Jonagold' trees died, mostly due to breakage at the graft union. Less than 5% of each of the other cultivars died. Half of the 'Jonagold' trees which were lost, however, were supported. Even though support did not improve tree growth or productivity in this experiment, it is recommended that trees on Mark rootstock be supported and that careful crop management of precocious scion cultivars be observed in the early years of the planting.

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