Fruit Tree Cultivation in Modern Orchards: Advancements, Innovations, Sustainability, and Optimal Fruit Production

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Fruit Production Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 3020

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Pomology, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, 11855 Athens, Greece
Interests: plant nutrition and fertilization; abiotic stresses (nutrient deficiencies, drought, salinity, waterlogging, etc.); sexual and asexual propagation of fruit tree species; evaluation of fruit tree cultivars and rootstock; effect of various cultural practices on tree yield and fruit quality
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to bring together cutting-edge research and innovative approaches that contribute to the advancement of fruit tree cultivation in modern orchards. We welcome original research articles, reviews, and case studies covering a wide range of topics related to fruit tree cultivation. These include, but are not limited to, soil management, plant nutrition, cultivar and rootstock selection and management, propagation methods, planting systems, innovative pruning and training methods, irrigation, fertilization, fertigation, and hydroponic techniques. We encourage original contributions that address the challenges faced by fruit trees under various abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought, waterlogging, heat, cold, frost, and mineral element deficiency or toxicity. Additionally, we welcome studies evaluating protection methods against sun, hail, and frost as well as contributions on postharvest handling, and sustainable orchard practices. We are particularly interested in submissions that explore novel technologies, methodologies, and strategies to optimize fruit production, enhance fruit quality, and ensure long-term sustainability in orchard management.

By participating in this Special Issue, researchers will have the opportunity to showcase their findings and contribute to the knowledge base on fruit tree cultivation. Published articles will reach a wide audience of researchers, academicians, and industry professionals in the field of horticulture and fruit tree production.

Dr. Ioannis E. Papadakis
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • fruit tree cultivation
  • modern orchards
  • fruit production

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 1312 KiB  
Article
Combining the Use of Reflective Groundcovers and Aminoethoxyvinylglycine to Assess Effects on Skin Color, Preharvest Drop, and Quality of ‘Honeycrisp’ Apples in the Mid-Atlantic US
by Md Shipon Miah and Macarena Farcuh
Horticulturae 2024, 10(2), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10020179 - 16 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Apples are one of the most valuable fruits worldwide. ‘Honeycrisp’ is the top sales-producing cultivar in the US. Lack of red skin coloration and increased preharvest fruit drop significantly reduce the market value for cultivars such as ‘Honeycrisp’. The use of reflective groundcovers [...] Read more.
Apples are one of the most valuable fruits worldwide. ‘Honeycrisp’ is the top sales-producing cultivar in the US. Lack of red skin coloration and increased preharvest fruit drop significantly reduce the market value for cultivars such as ‘Honeycrisp’. The use of reflective groundcovers has been shown to enhance apple skin coloration. While the use of plant growth regulator AVG reduces fruit drop, it negatively affects skin coloration. Studies on the impacts of these practices in mid-Atlantic US-grown apples are limited. In this work, for two years, we compared differences in the light environment, fruit drop, internal ethylene concentration (IEC), physicochemical parameters, and skin coloration of ‘Honeycrisp’ apples in the lower third of the canopy. Apples were submitted to four treatment combinations of reflective groundcover (Extenday) and AVG (130 mg L−1). Assessments occurred throughout three ripening stages. Our results demonstrated that Extenday significantly promoted skin coloration (>75% blush) via the increased reflectance of photosynthetic photon flux density and UV radiation, and increased IEC, while also advancing fruit maturity, i.e., overripening. Conversely, AVG significantly minimized fruit drop and decreased EIC, delaying fruit maturity but drastically reducing red coloration (30–48% blush). The combined use of Extenday and AVG had a synergistic effect by decreasing fruit drop while enhancing fruit with >50% blush, without promoting overripening. Combining Extenday and AVG can boost the market value for ‘Honeycrisp’ apples in the mid-Atlantic US. Full article
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13 pages, 1226 KiB  
Article
Impact of Cover Cropping on Temporal Nutrient Distribution and Availability in the Soil
by Miurel Brewer, Ramdas G. Kanissery, Sarah L. Strauss and Davie M. Kadyampakeni
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101160 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1063
Abstract
Cover cropping is a best management practice that can improve soil quality by reducing soil erosion, building soil organic matter (SOM), and improving soil nutrient availability. Southwest (SW) Florida citrus growers have the challenge of growing citrus in sandy soils characterized by low [...] Read more.
Cover cropping is a best management practice that can improve soil quality by reducing soil erosion, building soil organic matter (SOM), and improving soil nutrient availability. Southwest (SW) Florida citrus growers have the challenge of growing citrus in sandy soils characterized by low organic matter (<2%), extremely low water and nutrient-holding capacities, and high sand content (>90%), and therefore are looking for methods to improve SOM and nutrient retention and availability in sandy soils. A trial of two cover crop (CC) mixtures planted in the row middles (RM) of Huanglongbing-affected citrus ‘Valencia’ (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) orchards in sandy soils in SW Florida was conducted. This study explored how incorporating CCs in the RM of the orchards could affect soil ammonium (NH4+), soil nitrate (NO3), exchangeable macronutrients, and SOM temporal availability. These parameters were measured under the tree canopy (UC) and within RM of two orchards: South Grove (SG) and North Grove (NG), both located in SW Florida. The two seeded CC mixtures were legume + non-legume (LG+NL) and non-legume (NL) and were compared to a control no-CC grower standard (GSC). Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and NH4+ were not statistically significantly different among treatments in either of the two sampling positions (UC and RM). Cover cropping significantly (p < 0.05) increased NO3-N concentrations in the RM area of the citrus orchards after seven consecutive seasons (brassicas, legumes, and grasses) by 31% in the LG + NL and 29% in the NL with reference to the GSC. In addition to the significant increase in NO3N, SOM significantly (p < 0.05) increased in the RM in the NG site only in both CCs treatments by 17% and 16% for LG + NL and NL treatments, respectively, compared with GSC. Full article
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10 pages, 247 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Red Fruit Coloration of Apples in the Southeastern US with Reflective Fabrics
by Thomas M. Kon and Christopher D. Clavet
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101125 - 12 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 669
Abstract
For some apple cultivars, inadequate red fruit color development can reduce crop value. The use of reflective groundcovers has been demonstrated to improve red coloration in apples in other regions, but evaluation in the southeastern USA has been limited. To address this, we [...] Read more.
For some apple cultivars, inadequate red fruit color development can reduce crop value. The use of reflective groundcovers has been demonstrated to improve red coloration in apples in other regions, but evaluation in the southeastern USA has been limited. To address this, we compared the performance of multiple reflective groundcovers in 2018 and 2020 on mature ‘Fuji’ trees in Edneyville, NC, USA. Woven reflective (Extenday® DayBright, Lumilys® WH100, Beltech PD2911, and Belton experimental), mylar, and sod groundcovers were deployed ~5 weeks before anticipated harvest. The effects of the treatment on light reflectance (photosynthetically active and UV radiation), fruit color, fruit quality, and crop value were determined. Across both years of evaluation, reflective groundcovers were consistent in increasing the reflectance of photosynthetically active radiation. However, only Extenday® DayBright consistently increased reflected UV radiation (250–400 nm), red fruit coloration at commercial harvest, and crop value. Fruit maturity and sunburn incidence were not influenced by any treatment in both years. Reflected UV light quality was not characterized, but it is clear that UV250–400nm reflectance intensity is critical to enhance ‘Fuji’ fruit color development. Growers in the southeastern US can use reflective groundcovers to enhance red fruit coloration to meet market demands. Full article
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