Interaction of Crop Load and Irrigation on Yield, Fruit Size, Color and Stem-end Splitting Ratio of Apple c.v. 'Gala, Galaxy'

Yildirim F., VURAL E., Ucar Y., Yildirim A. N.

ERWERBS-OBSTBAU, vol.58, no.2, pp.103-111, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10341-015-0262-6
  • Journal Name: ERWERBS-OBSTBAU
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.103-111
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, the interaction between crop load and irrigation level on yield, fruit size, skin color and stem-end splitting fruit ratio in the apple cultivar 'Gala, Galaxy' grafted on rootstock M9 were investigated. Six irrigation programs were applied during the whole growth season: deficit irrigation (rates of 0.25 kc, 0.50 kc, 0.75 kc), full irrigation (rate of 1.00 kc), excess irrigation (rate of 1.25 kc) and non-irrigation (rates of 0.00 kc of "Class A" pan evaporation coefficient). Four crop loads in each irrigation application were performed by hand thinning after the June drop as a- a low crop load (3 fruits cm(-2) TCA), b- a medium crop load (5 fruits cm(-2) TCA), c- a heavy crop load (7 fruits cm(-2) TCA), and d- an un-thinned crop load (> 7 fruits cm(-2) TCA). The total tree yield increased with crop load and irrigation levels. Fruit size was significantly increased by the low crop load. Irrigation increased the fruit size compared to non-irrigation treatment. Further 0.75 kc, 1.00 kc and 1.25 kc irrigation treatments significantly increased the fruit length. Irrigation reduced the fruit flesh firmness. While the low crop load increased the skin red color, it decreased the fruit skin brightness. The yellowness of skin decreased with increasing in the irrigation amount. Irrigation reduced the skin brightness and yellowness, but it increased red color. Crop load and irrigation significantly affected the stem-end splitting fruit ratio. While the splitting fruit ratio increased with a decrease in the crop load, it decreased with an increase in irrigation amount, relatively. Consequently, the low and medium crop load treatments would be beneficial to increase the ratio of marketable fruits without any significant losses in yield for 'Gala' apple, especially under 0.75 kc deficit irrigation treatment.