Growth pattern and phenological stages of early-maturing peach trees under a Mediterranean climate

  • Mounzer O
  • Conejero W
  • Nicolás E
 et al. 
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The phenological stages of early-maturing peach trees were described using the traditional nomenclature of Baggiolini and according to the {BBCH} General Scale. The heat requirement of each stage was calculated as growing degree hours ({GDH)} and growing degree days ({GDD).} The annual growth pattern of trunk, shoot, and fruit was also studied. After dormancy breaking involving 225 chilling units, this early peach cultivar required ≈6244 {GDH} to reach full bloom and 27106 {GDH} before the fruit could be harvested. In the case of {GDD}, the heat requirements were 329 and 1246 for full bloom and fruit harvest, respectively. According to plant growth measurements, shoot growth lasted ≈7 months with a significant increase in the growth rate after fruit harvest reaching a maximum value in July. Trunk growth followed a similar annual pattern as that of the shoots but with its maximum rate occurring ≈30 days latter. Fruit growth, which lasted an average of 89 days from full bloom to harvesting, took place under mild climatic conditions (10 Feb. to 10 May) coinciding with only 30% of the total annual shoot length. This pattern of reproductive and vegetative growth pointed to the interest of redirecting regulated deficit irrigation practices in early-maturing cultivars toward postharvest water-saving strategies, but only to the extent that any limitation of shoot and trunk growth does not adversely affect the productivity of the following year.

Author-supplied keywords

  • BBCH general scale
  • Growth pattern
  • Phenological stages
  • Prunus persica

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  • PUI: 352412496
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-52449084418
  • SGR: 52449084418
  • ISSN: 00185345
  • ISBN: 0018-5345


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