Top working method and bloom density of pollinizers as productive determinant for spur type apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) cultivars

Biswajit Das, N. Ahmad, K. K. Srivastava, Pragya Ranjan

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12 Scopus citations


Apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) shows gametophytic self incompatibility and requires cross pollination by suitable pollinizers. Gradual decline in natural pollinators and insufficient proportion of pollinizers have been observed in the apple orchards over the years across the North Western Himalayan region. This situation resulted in considerable pollination problem in the region. The present study was undertaken (during the years 2006-2010) to examine the effect of top working methods and time as well as type of pollinizers on different growth parameters for efficient pollination management. Chip budding performed in fall, late winter and summer gave significantly higher success rate (90.0, 89.8 and 80.9%, respectively). Other methods viz., side rind graft (85.6%) and cleft graft (71.2%) during February-March, and T-bud (71.7%) during July-August also gave better success. The highest shoot numbers (4.1) and length (92.8. cm) were recorded when chip budding was performed during September-October and February-March, respectively. In 4th year, chip budded scion branches of all the pollinizers recorded significantly higher number of spurs/m twig length with a range of 22.8 (December-January) to 24.7 (September-October). Significantly the highest bloom density (22.1) was recorded on chip budded (February-March) branches of pollinizers in 4th year. Fruit set on top worked trees of 'Oregon Spur' was only in the range of 18.0-20.1% in 1st year and reached to the range of 35.6-41.5% in 4th year. Seed numbers/fruit also increased to the range of 7.3-7.9 in 4th year from 2.9 to 4.6 in 1st year. All these factors resulted in better yield efficiency (2.6-3.8) of 'Oregon Spur' in 4th year. 'Manchurian' crab produced significantly higher shoot length of 86.5-87.2. cm and 146.1-149.2. cm in 1st and 4th years, respectively. However, 'Stark Spur' produced the highest number of spurs/m twig length of 28.9 when grafted/chip budded during December-January or February-March, and 27.1 when chip/T-budded during September-October or July-August. Top working with 'Manchurian' crab also resulted in significantly higher fruit set (44.2-45.4%) and yield efficiency (3.6-3.8) on 'Oregon Spur' in 4th year. This was followed by 'Stark Spur' as pollinizer (37.1-38.2% and 2.9-3.1, respectively). Highly significant positive correlation of shoot numbers, spur density and bloom density of pollinizers with fruit set and yield efficiency of 'Oregon Spur' were observed. 'Manchurian' crab was found to be very efficient as pollinizer, followed by 'Stark Spur' for spur type 'Oregon Spur' apple cultivar on the basis of higher bloom density and fruit set parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-648
Number of pages7
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Issue number4
StatePublished - 27 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Apple pollination
  • Bloom density
  • Pollinizers
  • Top working
  • Yield efficiency


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