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Effect of pruning and thinning mature pecan trees on the nut production

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Authors: A. Lagarda Murrieta, M.C. Medina Morales, J. Arreola Ávila
Issue: 94V-3 (148-157)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Carya illinoensis (Wangenh) K. Koch), pruning, yield, alternate bearing, trunk cross sectional area

Pruning treatments such as hedging and selective limb pruning was performed as well as a tree thinning out from a 13 year old Western Schley Pecan Orchard having 100 trees/ha.
The pruning on the pecan trees prometed in the next year a significant increment on the kernel production compared to the non prunned check trees (1,182 kg/ha); hedging pruning trees reported 2,056 kg/ha whereas those trees having selective limb pruning produced 2,058 kg/ha.
Kernel product on evaluated in a 3 year consecutive period showed that trees having selective limb had the greatest production 6,959 kg/ha/3 year; and an alternate bearing index of 24.4% among years compared to a 86.4% reported in the un prunned trees.
Thinning out trees from 100 to 25/ha had the best per tree production 47.5 in shell nuts kg/tree, however in order to keep the nut production in commercial levels, this practice should go to a reduction as high as 25% of the tree population per hectare; reporting additionally an alternate bearing index of 12%. The maximum pecan yields were achieved when the tree density accumulated 9 to 11 m2 trunk cross seccional area per hectare.

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