Peaches and Nectarines

Almonds

Apples

Peaches and Nectarines

Plant background
Stone fruit, botanic name Prunes persica, originating from China and from Northern Persia ,from the Rosaceae family.

Botanical descriptions
Trees grow to a height of 4.5-7.0m with a diameter of 3-4m.The leaves have a “saw tooth” edge. Pink blossoms appear in the spring before the leaves begin budding. Flowering season is relatively long, with beautiful flowers often with many small blossoms. Blossoming begins early spring – February--March in the northern hemisphere, and in the corresponding months in the southern hemisphere. The trees produce commercial yields from their third year, and keep producing for about 15-20 years. The highest yields are attained in the 6 th to 12th years. Blossoms of most varieties are hermaphrodite, which means they self- pollinate, though some varying require bees for pollination. Peaches prefer a dry climate during blossoming. Blossoms grow on year-old branches, with two blossoms encircling the growth buds. Fruit ripens 3-5 months after blossoming. Fruit buds – form on the branch, which grows during the growing season, and will bear the fruit the following season, I.E. year old branches bear the fruit.

Varieties
There are two main groups of varieties: Freestone (as its name implies the flesh separates easily from the stone), and Clingstone (a harder variety, the flesh does not separate easily from the stone, as implied).There are a large number of varieties for different periods, starting from early summer through to autumn (end of October).  In general, there are thousands of peach varieties.

Crop climate conditions
Due to early blossoming, frost is problematic in most countries where peaches grow. Peach varieties grow in a wide range of climates from tropical to sub-artic (northern Canada). Peaches require a varied range of cold units ,but mainly 600-900 units. In some new varieties 200 cold units are sufficient. Tree branches can withstand cold of -32 °C, but blossoms suffer damage at -2 °C.

Growing season
Peaches require 90-180 days from blossoming to ripening, with early varieties ripening in July and late varieties in September-October.

Rootstock
Peach  and Nectarine rootstocks are mainly, Seedling (Baladi) and rootstocks of almond /peach (G.F.677,Hansen536).

Soil
Medium light soils, well-drained soils are preferable; optimal pH is 6-7.In heavier soils, trees should be planted on mounds. Trees should not be planted in soil without proper drainage.

Nursery

It is common to graft saplings in the nursery,and plant them during dormancy. Saplings are planted with roots exposed, or in bags, though it is possible to prepare one-year saplings that are planted in a lump.

Tree treatments
Standard pruning is vase shaped, which is compatible with the tree’s shape, and enables light and radiation penetration to the fruit and foliage. There are additional pruning methods, such as hedge pruning, and central axis. With many varieties, manual or chemical thinning out is required, so that fruit will grow to required size.

Harvest
Normally manually harvested, but in industrial orchards for cut fruit and for juice, harvesting is mechanical.  

Tree spacing
Traditionally trees are spaced 4.5x5m,with about 500 trees per ha in the densely planted orchards, trees are planted 4.0 -4.5x2m,with 1,000-2,000 trees per ha.

Irrigation
Irrigation coefficients – Kc based on pan evaporation rate according to the northern hemisphere (the Kc also changes according harvesting seasons). General water requirements depend on the harvesting. date: 450-750 m per season. Beginning of irrigation – depends on the soil moisture conditions, blossoming and leaf budding in the spring. In regions where there are summer rains – rainfalls exceeding 5mm must be taken into account.

Critical stages for water stress in the soil in peach and nectarine orchards
Water stress during t he critical stages could result in serious damage and a reduction in yields, Mainly during the blossoming and fruit -set , and the fast development of the fruits ages, from April to June in the northern hemisphere, and during the corresponding months in the southern hemisphere.

Irrigation management with water shortages in peach and nectarine orchards – deficit irrigation 

Following are several means of action that will enable deficit irrigation, while reducing economic damages to the orchard and to the yields.

1.      Apportion water based on profitability of the sections, according to tree conditions and harvest dates, wherein the better sections will receive the necessary water quantities, at the expense of the poorer sections.

2.    Water is apportioned according to expected yields in the orchard sections. Sections where a high yield is expected, will receive water at the expense of sections,
where expected yield is low.

3.    It is recommended to thin out the fruit, removing the small fruits and leaving the large fruits on the branches. This can be done manually or chemically.
d. Reduce the canopy by pruning, thus reducing the water evaporation from the foliage. This is particularly important in stone fruits, such as peaches and nectarines. When pruning trees, it is important to be careful when pruning, as this could cause excessive vegetative growth.

4.    Green pruning is preferable, and in early varieties, summer pruning is possible.

5.    The yield must be adapted to the allocated water allowance, and not the water to the yield.

6.    The peach fruit grows rapidly during two periods:
(1)after fruit-set, and (2)before ripening. The period between these periods is called the stone-hardening stage, during which the water quantities can be reduced significantly, and this should be taken into consideration when determining water applications.

Recommended irrigation methods

Drip irrigation is recommended – in older orchards with traditional spacing, 1-2 laterals per row; in closely planted orchards – one lateral per row. The recommended distance between drippers is 0.5-0.6m. Discharge rate will normally be 2.3 l/h. Irrigation frequency will be according to soil type, every 1-3 day.  Irrigation should be applied according to soil type every 1-3 days, and pulse irrigation. Just before ripening, the water consumption increases. Irrigation rate: 1.3-1.6 mm/h

Fertilization applications
Before planting:400-600kg/ha P 2 O 5 and 600-700 kg/ha K 2 O. During year s 1,2 &3 150,200,&250 grams N per tree accordingly. For fruit bearing trees, when yields are high, large fertilizer quantities are needed.
N – 180-200 kg/ha, P – 50-60 kg/ha
K – 250-300 kg/ha

Yields
35-50 tons/ha.

Main diseases
Leaf curling, verticilium wilt ,rust, powdery mildew, stone brown rot, silvery leaves, rhizopus rot.

Main pests
acalytus, erythroneura, pterochloroides persicae, capnodis, scolytidae, cankers, fruit flies (anastrepha), thrips, oxycarenus hylimiponnis ,cydia.

Frost protection
peaches are sensitive to frost ,particularly to early frost. Fruit-set in early varieties area already adversely affected at -1 °C.90%of the blossoms will be destroyed if temperatures reach –3.9 °C, when the peach tree is in full bloom.90%of the blossoms will be destroyed if temperatures will reach – 6.1 °C,when trees start to bloom.

                                                                                                     Back to top

 

 

Almonds

Plant background

Stone fruit,from the Rosaceae family, closest to the peach. Originates
from the Middle East, where conditions are dry and hot. Almonds
spread throughout the entire Mediterranean Region and afterwards to the USA (California), Northern Africa, Turkey, Iran, Australia and South Africa. The almond is sensitive to wet conditions,and is therefore not grown in wet climates. The almond is popular in the market due to its dietary properties, such as: low level of saturated fat, and high Vitamin E level,as well as a high level of unsaturated fat.

 Botanical description
Trees grow to a height 4.0-6.0m with a diameter of 3-4m. The almond is hermaphrodite, but male and female blossoms are not in accord, so
insects bees are necessary for pollination. Like peaches, the blossoms form
around the vegetative buds. They are located on spurs that live 3-4
years, though some blossoms also form on new branches. As opposed
to other stone fruit, the pulp does not continue to grow in the third and last period. At the end of the growing season, the pulp dries and opens, to expose the seed covering, which reaches its final size after about 100 days. The almond tree can live a long time, but the lifetime of a commercial orchard is 30-40 years. Blossoming and fruit-set begin at two years,full fertility at four years, and maximum yield is attained at 7-9 years. Blossoms are light pink. Blossoming occurs in January-March, with fruit ripening in July-August, 5-6 months after blossoming in the northern hemisphere, and in the corresponding months in the southern hemisphere.

Varieties
The  main varieties in Israel : Um-el-Fahem, Kochav-53,Kochva-54,Np"a and Shefa. Non-pareil is the  main variety in California, comprising 50% of global yields. There are sweet almond and bitter almond varieties.

Crop climate conditions

Optimum is a dry warm climate –sub-tropical. Almonds can be grown without irrigation, and are more resistant to dry conditions than other deciduous trees, but yields will be low. It is accepted policy to add supplementary irrigation, where annual rainfall is less than 500 mm.
Almonds do not like excess humidity. Its growing range is quite wide, between 30 °–45 °laterals. Almonds require less cold units than other deciduous trees, but vary from one variety to the next.
Most varieties require 300-500 cold units. Cold conditions are a serious problem for almonds, which blossom in early spring.

Blossoms suffer damage at -2 °C, and vegetative buds at -4 °C to -6°C.

Growing season
Buds open at the end of winter -beginning of spring, the flower buds open before the leaf buds. Blossoming time differs slightly according to variety, and lasts about two weeks. Fruit develops from mid-July to August. At the end of this period, the green shell opens. The inner shell completes its development 100 days after blossoming. Harvest time is from the middle of August to mid-September. The leaves fall off in October – November and the tree goes into dormancy.

Rootstock
Accepted rootstocks are : Peach-Almond hybrid- G.F.677 ,Hansen536 ; in California the use mostly peach seedlings.

Soil
Soil – almonds grow in all types of soil, including chalky and shallow soils. The optimal pH is 7.0-8.5.

Nursery
Like with peaches, it is common to graft saplings in the nursery. Planting is at the end of the dormant season, before blossoming. Saplings are planted with roots exposed.

Tree treatments
Tree treatments –standard pruning is vase shaped, to enable better light and radiation penetration. It is not necessary to thin out blossoms. All the blossoms reach fruit-set and most are collected. It is normally recommended not t o cultivate the soil. Weeds along t he rows should be treated with herbicides, while between t he rows they should be mown. Alternatively, it is possible to grow and intermediate crop in this area, mainly legumes.

Harvest
After the outer shell of all the fruit has opened. It is acceptable to use a tree shaker.

Tree spacing
In the past, orchards were not irrigated, and the number of trees per hectares was low –140 trees/ha, with 7-10 m between rows. Pollinating varieties were planted every fourth row. Presently, row spacing is every 6-7 m, with ~300 trees/ ha. 

 

Irrigation management with water
shortages in almond orchards – deficit irrigation Where the water supply is limited, minimum waste of water is essential, so trees should be irrigated only to the point where they are sensitive to stress. However, if this quantity of water is insufficient for the tree’s needs, it is necessary to find the right stage, where water reduction will do the least harm. Deficit irrigation can influence not only the current yield, but also the following season’s yield therefore, it is necessary to find the most suitable irrigation strategy. It is possible to plan irrigation in orchards for several years, and the plan can be flexible according to the prevailing conditions. In almonds, it is important to apply full irrigation in the early spring, during kernel filling, and it is also important for the yields in the long run. In early almond varieties and spring varieties, it is possible to seriously reduce water quantities to trees from mid-June for two months. Later varieties can be resistant to stress during the two months preceding harvesting. This method reduces the kernel weight by about 10%,but results in considerable reduction in shell splitting. Renewing irrigation two weeks before harvesting improves shell splitting. With drip-irrigated almonds or grown in shallow soil, the irrigation regime after harvesting is critical for the following season. Reduced irrigation after harvesting, results in a reduction in the number of blossoms and in fruit-set in the following year, therefore farmers must retain reserve water for irrigating after harvesting. This must be applied
immediately after harvesting. In deep soil or where sprinklers are used for irrigation, it is less important to irrigate immediately after harvesting, and this can be delayed. Early falling off of leaves is a sign of insufficient irrigation. However, irrigating when leaves drop off after harvesting can cause leaves to renew growth, which is not desirable. The approach proposed here improves the tree’s moisture conditions at the critical stage for the following season’s blossom buds. Blossoming at the end of autumn can reduce the following year’s yield. This happens when the leaves renew growth in the autumn, when the climate is cold in October, then turns warm in November. Limiting irrigation during late autumn reduces unwanted blossoming.

Recommended irrigation method
Drip irrigation is recommended – in older orchards with traditional spacing, 2 laterals per row; in young orchards – 1-2 laterals per row depending on the soil type. The recommended distance between drippers is 0.5m. Discharge rate should be 1.6-2.3 l/h. Irrigation frequency will be according to soil type, every 2-3 days.

Fertilization application
During soil preparation:400-600kg/ha P 2 O 5 and 600-700 kg/ha K 2 O,depending on soil test results.2kg boron should be added as needed. During years 1,2 &3 30,60,&90 grams N per tree accordingly. Annual fert ilizer consumption for fruit bearing tree.

Yields
Average yields are 2.0 -1.0 t/Ha. The annual international yield is 1 million tons. In Spain almonds are also used in the wood industry.

Main diseases
Rust on stone fruit (tranzchelia discolor), cercospora circumscissa, polystigma ochraceum, agrobacterium tumefaciens, verticilium spp.,deplodea sp., silver leaf (chondrostereum purpureum), pytophthora, nematodes, brown rot (monilinia sp.), oak rot (amillaria).

Main pests
Navel orange worm (amyelois transitella), twig borer (anarsia lineatella), mites, eurytoma amygdaly, capnodis tenebonis, cerambyx dux, eccoptogster amygdaly, lyonetia lerkella, lymantria destituta, meloidogyne spp, brachycaudus amygdaliana.

Back to top

Apples

Plant background

Belongs to the Malus genus, originating in eastern Turkey, and is a pip fruit, from the Rosaceae family.The main varieties at present are from  the Malus domistica group, comprising hundreds of varieties, including a large group of Spur-type that were developed in particular, to improve fertility and create a low,compact tree.

Botanical description

A small to medium size tree, up to 4-6m high;tree size depends on the rootstock, variety and pruning method. The leaves are dark green and elliptic in shape.The blossoms grow in clusters of 5 blossoms that grow on spurs and branches – white flowers that change their color to pink. The  “king”flower opens first,creating the large typical fruit. Normally all the other blossoms are removed.Most varieties require pollination, which is carried out by bees.In varieties with dwarfed rootstocks, fruit appears after two years,while in normal varieties,fruit appear after 3-5 years.

Varieties

The spur-type varieties are prolific and commercial. In Israel ,the main varieties are: Topred,Golden Delicious,Granny Smith, Gala and Ana. In the USA,10 main varieties compose 90% of production. These varieties are:
Empire,Gala ,Rome ,Red Delicious ,Granny Smith ,Jonathan ,Fuji Golden Delicious ,Idared ,McIntosh, China – the biggest global producer. Washington State – biggest US producer.

Crop climate conditions

The apple acclimatizes to most climates. The best conditions exist between laterals 35 °-50 ° north and south of the equator.Cold units – apples require 1,000- 1,600 cold units (with the exception of the Ana variety, which requires very few cold units)and 120-180 days without frost. The best quality is attained where days are warm, nights are cold and there is maximum radiation. Apples are resistant to frost down to - 40 °C.Blossoms and fruit-set will suffer damage at -2.2 °C-3.3 °C.Apples blossom late in comparison to other deciduous crops, so there is less danger of frost, although in certain varieties and regions, where there is greater danger of frost,a frost protection system is necessary.

Growing season

Blossoming: April-May in the northern hemisphere and the corresponding months in the southern hemisphere, the main growth stops in July. Cell division ceases three weeks after fruit-set. Fruit growth is cell growth, therefore it is necessary to maintain conducive moisture and fertilizer conditions throughout the season, in order to attain good quantity and quality yields.

Rootstock

There are three groups of rootstock varieties: Malling (the lowest at 0.27m height), Mulling Merton (1.3-2m height), and Seedling (normally local) (6-10m height). The most common rootstock in dense orchards is M.9,and for medium varieties MM.106. In Israel the main rootstock is the Hashabi 13-4.

Soil
Optimal pH is 6.5. Medium, well-drained soils are preferable.

Nursery
it is common to graft saplings in the nursery, and plant them during dormancy. Saplings are planted with roots exposed,  or in bags. The rootstock is grown in “mother nurseries”. Sapling preparation takes at least two years.

Tree treatments
Pruning is done main during the winter, but during the summer red varieties are also pruned a month before harvesting, to improve radiation through the  foliage. In high-density orchards – tree training is "central leaden" slender spindle.

Harvest
In early varieties – 100 days after full blossoming; in late varieties – 180-210 days after full blossoming.

Tree spacing
In medium sized varieties,trees are planted 4x5 meters or 4x6 m,i.e. 400-500 trees per hectare.In dwarf varieties: 2.5x4.0m – 1,000-2,300 trees per ha, and in extra dwarfed varieties:4x0.90m – 3,000 – 4,000 trees.

Critical stages for water stress

in the soil in apple orchards Water stress during the critical stages could result in leaves dropping off,a reduction in yields and low income, mainly during the blossoming and fruit-set stages, fruit development stages,and also towards the end of the growing season.

Irrigation management with water shortages in apple
orchards deficit irrigation
Following are several means of action that will enable deficit irrigation,while reducing economic damages to the orchard and to the yields.

a. Apportion water based on profitability of the sections, according to tree conditions and harvest dates, wherein the better sections will receive the necessary water quantities,at the expense of the poorer sections.

b. Water is apportioned according to expected yields in the orchard sections.Sections where a high yield is expected, will receive water at the expense of sections,where expected yield is low.

c. It is recommended to thin out the fruit,removing the small fruits and leaving the large fruits on the branches. This can be done manually or chemically.

d. Reduce the canopy by pruning,thus reducing the tree’s water consumption. When pruning apple trees and other pip fruits, it is important not to cut strong branches,as this causes excessive vegetative growth.

e. Green pruning is preferable,and in early varieties, summer pruning is  recommended.

f. The yield must be adapted to the allocated water allowance, and not the water to the yield.

Recommended irrigation method
One lateral per row,distance between drippers: 0.5m. Discharge rate will be according to soil type,normally 1.6 - 2.3 l/h.Irrigation frequency will be according to soil type, every 1-3 days.

Fertilization application
Before planting:N – 200-300 kg/ha;400-600kg/ha K 2 O Young trees (1-4 years): N –90 kg/ha |P – 30 kg/ha | K – 120 kg/ha Mature trees:N – 100 kg/ha |P – 60 kg/ha | K – 180 kg/ha

Yields
Differ according to variety,climate and density of trees in the orchard. It is possible to receive yields of 60-80 tons/ ha, but to improve quality and fruit size,yields should be reduced to 30-40 tons/ha.

Main diseases
Apple scab,powdery mildew,apple bitter rot, black rot, sooty mold, sclerotium root rot.

Main pests
Cydia pomella, lyonetia clerkella, aphids, fruit flies (anastrepha), mites.

 

Back to top

Home page

 

 
 BSmart בניית אתרים 

    Zohar Hanani Beit Lehem Haglilit  36007 Israel            Tel: 972-505343518    Fax:972-4-9535714            

 e-mail:  hanani@inter.net.il