Article | 08. 2014 Vol. 32, Issue. 4
Effect of Tree Height on Light Transmission, Spray Penetration, Tree Growth, and Fruit Quality in the Slender-spindle System of ‘Hongro’/M9 Apple Trees



Department of Horticulture, Chonbuk National University1
Institute Agricultural Science & Technology, Chonbuk National University2
Jangsu Agricultural Technique Center3
Department of Horticultural Science, Kyungpook National University4




2014.08. 454:462


PDF XML




This study was carried out to determine the effect of tree height on light transmission, spray penetration, tree growth performance, fruit quality attributes, and labor productivity in the slender-spindle system of ‘Hongro’/M.9 apple trees. With increasing tree height, the light penetration into the internal parts of the canopy decreased, especially in the lower canopy. Leaf area index (LAI) increased with increasing tree height, thereby leading to a reduction in the extent of spray penetration into the interior of the canopy. With increasing tree height, shoot growth was more vigorous but produced slender shoots in the upper canopy compared to the lower canopy. Although the soluble solid content and coloration of fruit decreased, there was no difference in fruit firmness and acidity. In addition, the number of final fruit set increased, although the production of large fruit (> 305 g) decreased. The increase in tree height also significantly increased the labor required for practices such as thinning of flowers and fruits, pruning, and harvesting. Nevertheless, this problem of increased in labor input in taller trees would was eased by use of a mechanical lift. Utilizing a lift for thinning the flowers of trees 4.5 m in height saved 14.6 min per tree, compared to the use of ladder. Therefore, it is highly considerable that in order to enhance light transmission and fruit coloration, light conditions should be improved in the internal tree canopy of slender-spindle systems.



1. Barden, J.A. and G.H. Neilsen. 2003. Selecting the orchard site, preparation and orchard planning and establishment, p. 237-265. In: D.C. Ferree and I.J. Warrington (eds.). Apples; botany, production and uses. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, MA, USA.  

2. Barritt, B.H. 1998. Orchard management systems for Fuji apples in Washington State. Compact Fruit Tree 31:11-13.  

3. Barritt, B.H., C.R. Rom, K.R. Guelich, S.R. Drake, and M.A. Dilley. 1991. Light level influences spur-quality and canopy development and light interception influence fruit production in apple. HortScience 26:993-999.  

4. Callesen, O. 1993. Influence of apple tree height on yield and fruit quality. Acta Hortic. 349:111-115.  

5. Callesen, O. and O.S. Wagenmakers. 1989. Effect of tree density, tree height and rectangularity on growth, flowering, and fruit production. Acta Hortic. 24:141-148.  

6. Cho, K.H. and T.M. Yoon. 2006. Fruit quality, yield, and profitability of ‘Hongro’ apple as affected by crop load. Kor. J. Hort. Sci. Technol. 24:210-215.  

7. Choi, K.H., D.H. Lee, Y.Y. Song, J.C. Nam, and S.W. Lee. 2010. Current status on the occurrence and management of disease, insect and mite pests in the non-chemical or organic cultured apple orchards in Korea. Kor. J. Organic Agri. 18: 221-232.  

8. Costa, G., E. Beltrame, P. Eccher, and A. Pianezzola. 1997. High density planted apple orchards: Effects on yield, performance and fruit quality. Acta Hortic. 451:505-511.  

9. Eccher, T. and G. Granelli. 2006. Fruit quality and yield of different apple cultivars as affected by tree density. Acta Hortic. 712:535-540.  

10. Hampson, C.R., H.A. Quamme, F. Kappel, and R.T. Brownlee. 2004. Varying density with constant rectangularity: I. Effects on apple tree growth and light interception in three training systems over ten years. HortScience 39:507-511.  

11. Han, S.G. and T.M. Yoon. 2001. Light distribution within the canopy and fruit quality in dwarf apple orchards. J. Kor. Soc. Hort. Sci. 42:78-82.  

12. Jangsu Apple Cluster (JAC). 2007. Apple farm field activities and research reports. Annual Rept. Jangsu Apple Cluster Agency 2007. p. 15-61.  

13. Kang, I.K. 2004. Selection of crabapples as pollinizers for ‘Hongro’ apple cultivar. Kor. J. Hort. Sci. Technol. 22:212-215.  

14. Lee, H.C. and T.H. Kang. 2000. The status of apple grading and standardization by the merchant middleman in Taegu -Kyungpook province. Kor. J. Postharvest Sci. Tech. 17:89-110.  

15. Park, M.Y., S.J. Yang, J.K. Park, D.G. Choi, and I.K. Kang. 2007. Influence of the number of the lower scaffold limbs in slender spindle form on the tree growth and development of ‘Fuji’ apple trees. J. Bio-Env. Con. 16:258-263.  

16. Robinson, T.L. and A.N. Lakso. 1991. Bases of yield and production efficiency in apple orchard systems. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 116:188-194.  

17. Robinson, T.L., S.A. Hoying, and G.H. Reginato. 2006. The tall spindle apple production system. New York Fruit Quarterly 14:21-28.  

18. Seo, H.H. 1996. Correlation analysis among sizes of leaf, leaf bud, flower bud and fruit in ‘Fuji’/M.26/Malus prunifolia apple trees. M.A. Diss., Kyung Hee Univ., Suwon, Korea.  

19. Shin, Y.U., J.K. Park, S.C. Kang, J.E. Moon, and J.H. Kim. 1989. Selection of superior individuals in ‘Hongro’ apple. Res. Rept. RDA (H). 31:53-61.  

20. Wagenmakers, P.S. and O. Callesen. 1995. Light distribution in apple orchard systems in relation to production and fruit quality. J. Hort. Sci. 70:935-948.  

21. Yang, S.J. 2008. Study on high density apple orchard system with M.9 rootstock. PhD. Diss., Kyungpook National Univ., Daegu, Korea.  

22. Yang, S.J., M.Y. Park, Y.Y. Song, D.H. Sagong, and T.M. Yoon. 2009. Influence of tree height on vegetative growth, productivity, and labour in slender spindle of ‘Fuji’/M.9 apple trees. Protected Hort. Plant Fact. 18:492-501.  

23. Yoon, T.M., J.Y. Lee, and D.H. Sagong. 2005. Restricting the height of vigorous apple trees in high density orchard, p. 81-100. In: Growth control techniques of vigorous apple tree in a high density orchard. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Gwacheon, Korea.