ISSN: 2329-8863



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Effect of Pruning Time on Yield and Quality of Apple (Malus domestica) Varieties in Arsi Highlands, Ethiopia

Gizaw Wegayehu Tiahun1 *, Fekadu Gebretensay2 , Demis Fikre1 , Awoke Ali3 , Dasta Tsagaye1 and Nimona Fufa1

An apple tree pruning experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of pruning time on yield and quality of apple fruits at Kulumsa Agricultural Research Center, Southeast Ethiopia, during the cropping seasons of 2019 and 2020, in two sets each year. Eight treatment combinations of two varieties (Ana and Princesa) and four times of pruning (immediately after harvest, when entering dormancy, just before dormancy break, and no pruning (control)) were studied in the warmest and coldest seasons of the production year. The treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with factorial arrangements in three replications. The interaction effect of apple varieties with the time of pruning was statistically significant (P ≤ 0.01) in all yield and yield-related attributes: total fruit yield per tree (kg), marketable fruit yield per tree (kg),number of total and marketable fruits per tree, and average fruit weight (g). Similarly, the interaction effect showed non-significant differences (P<0.05) on the quality attributes of fruit length, fruit diameter, and total soluble solids (obrix), except for fruit PH. From the results obtained, variety by time of pruning combination suggests that pruning applied on apple trees just before dormancy break could be recommended for higher productivity and quality of apple in the Kulumsa area. In general, further research needs to be done in different apple-growing areas, including other domestically adapted and produced varieties, for conclusive recommendations in the country