ABSTRACT Prohexadione calcium (P-Ca) has been reported to effectively control shoot growth in several pear cultivars, but with a few reports about its efficiency under the climatic conditions of southern Brazil. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate vegetative growth, production, and fruit quality of ‘Smith’ pear trees in response to the use of different rates of P-Ca in the climatic conditions of southern Brazil. The experiment was conducted during the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 seasons, in a 6-year-old ‘Smith’ pear orchard, trained to a central-leader system, with spacing of 1.5 × 4.8 m, grafted onto Pyrus calleryana Decne. Different P-Ca rates were applied (100, 200, 300, and 400 mg∙L–1) in different stages: first, in early spring for all treatments, and the others when shoot growth resumed (GR), but only for some treatments. Variables for vegetative growth, yield components and fruit quality at harvest and post-harvest were evaluated. The use of P-Ca was effective to control vegetative growth in both seasons, at different rates. Yield components were not affected by P-Ca applications in 2013/2014, except return bloom and return yield. In 2014/2015 season, P-Ca applications positively affected yield components, except average fruit weight and return bloom. P-Ca applications did not alter the qualitative attributes of the fruits of ‘Smith’ pear trees at harvest and after a period of cold storage. These results implicate P-Ca as a potential tool to manage vigor of ‘Smith’ pear trees in climatic conditions of southern Brazil.
Abstract: The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of prohexadione calcium (P-Ca) and root pruning (RP) on the control of the vegetative growth and on fruit production and quality of 'Shinseiki' pear trees, under the climatic conditions of Southern Brazil. The experiment was conducted during the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 crop seasons, in a 15-year-old orchard of 'Shinseiki' pear trees, trained to a central-leader system, with a 2x5 m spacing between plants, grafted onto Pyrus calleryana rootstock. The experiment was carried out in a randomized complete block design, with six treatments and four replicate. The treatments consisted of the control (without P-Ca application or RP), two P-Ca rates (300 and 600 mg L-1), two root pruning intensities (performed on one or on both sides of the tree), and root pruning on one side + 300 mg L-1 P-Ca. P-Ca reduced vegetative growth more effectively than RP, in both crop seasons, and the combination of both techniques did not result in additional control of the vegetative growth, compared with P-Ca alone. Vegetative growth was not affected by increasing the rates of P-Ca. The highest P-Ca dose negativelly affected fruit yield. Regarding fruit quality, RP increases the total soluble solids content at harvest.
Resumo: O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar o efeito da prohexadiona de cálcio (P-Ca) e da poda de raiz (PR) no controle do crescimento vegetativo e na produção e na qualidade dos frutos de pereiras 'Shinseiki', sob condições climáticas do Sul do Brasil. O experimento foi realizado durante as safras de 2013/2014 e 2014/2015, em pomar de pereiras 'Shinseiki' com 15 anos de idade, conduzido em líder central, com espaçamento de 2x5 m entre plantas, enxertadas em porta-enxerto Pyrus calleryana. O experimento foi realizado em blocos ao acaso, com seis tratamentos e quatro repetições. Os tratamentos consistiram na testemunha (sem aplicação de P-Ca e sem PR), em duas doses de P-Ca (300 e 600 mg L-1), em duas intensidades de poda de raiz (realizada em um ou nos dois lados da planta) e na poda de raiz em um lado da planta + 300 mg L-1 de P-Ca. A P-Ca reduziu o crescimento vegetativo mais efetivamente do que a PR, em ambas as safras, e a combinação de ambas as técnicas não resultou em controle adicional do crescimento vegetativo, em comparação à P-Ca utilizada sozinha. O crescimento vegetativo não foi influenciado pelo incremento nas doses de P-Ca. A maior dose de P-Ca afetou negativamente a produtividade de frutos. Quanto à qualidade de frutos, a PR aumenta o teor de sólidos solúveis totais na colheita.