Early Performance of 'Redhaven' Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] [abstract]
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The NC-140 Pome and Stone Fruit Rootstock Project is comprised of over 50 university researchers who conduct coordinated rootstock trials to determine the tolerance of new rootstock germplasm to edaphic conditions, as well as biotic and abiotic stresses. The Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center (HARC) near New Franklin, Missouri, is the designated test site for cold hardiness evaluations and will contribute vegetative and reproductive growth data. The objectives of the 2002 peach trial are: 1) To determine the vegetative and reproductive performance of 'Redhaven' peach on eight rootstocks over a ten year period and 2) to compare the productivity of the currently recommended rootstock (Lovell) with that of seven other rootstocks from European sources. Trees were planted on a Menfro silt loam soil at HARC in April 2002. 'Redhaven' was the scion cultivar on each of 8 different rootstocks. Tree survival, trunk circumference, average fruit weight, and yield were recorded annually. In mid-July 2006, peaches were harvested and average fruit weight was recorded. Cumulative yield (2004-2006) was calculated, as well as cumulative yield efficiency (cumulative yield/ trunk cross-sectional area) for 2005. Results from this study indicated that 'Redhaven' on VVA-1 and Pumiselect rootstocks had greater cumulative yield efficiency than all other rootstocks, including Lovell. However, trees on these rootstocks also had poor survival during their first five years of evaluation and cannot be recommended for planting in Missouri. Currently, trees on Cadaman are generally more productive, and as efficient as Lovell, with only slightly less tree survival. However ten years evaluation of these rootstocks is necessary to determine the sustained productively, efficiency, and survival of these trees.