The peach (cv. September Sun) and nectarine (cv. Rose Bright) rootstock experiments are investigating the impact of three crop loads (high, medium and low) across 5 different rootstocks examining effects on yield and fruit quality.

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Video: Rootstock research overview and results - Summefruit Webinar Series 2021

Summerfruit Webinar August 2021 - Rootstock research on peach and nectarine (20 min)

Dr Mark O'Connell from Agriculture Victoria discusses 5 years of research into rootstocks on peach and nectarine at the Summerfruit Webinar August 2021.

Introduction to the research

The peach (cv. September Sun) and nectarine (cv. Rose Bright) rootstock experiments are investigating the impact of three crop loads (high, medium and low) across 5 different rootstocks examining effects on yield, distribution of sugars (brix content), maturity and fruit quality.

About the rootstock experiments

Grower Protocols - Rootstock performance in stonefruit

Current recommendations and guidelines

Researcher: Mark O'Connell, Agriculture Victoria, Tatura (researchgate)

  • Rootstock selection at crop establishment governs tree performance and orchard production potential.
  • Worldwide there are few rootstock breeding programs for stonefruit. In Australia, Nemaguard is the current industry standard rootstock for peach and nectarine.
  • Scion vigour induced by rootstocks is an important criterion for orchard management and directly influences tree growth and development, precocity, yield and fruit quality. Other agronomic characteristics of rootstocks include adaptability to soil type (physical properties, pH) and tolerance/resistance to abiotic (drought, heat, salinity, waterlogging) and biotic (nematode, virus, bacterial, fungal) stress.
  • Research at Tatura into rootstocks for peach and nectarine using dwarfing, semi-dwarfing and high vigour stocks found rootstock-induced vigour effects on tree growth and development, yield and fruit quality.

Protocol Download PDF in new window (Note: this document does not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines)

Table 2. Characteristics of rootstocks (from rootstock vigour types)

Rootstock

Pedigree

(Country of origin)

Vigour

Anchorage

Soil conditions

Drought tolerance

Iron induced chlorosis

Crown Rot

Root knot Nematode

Root lesion nematode

Crown Gall

Oak root fungus

Bacterial canker

Nemaguard

Prunus persica x Prunus davidiana (USA)

High

Good

Sandy loam, sensitive to wet soil conditions and calcareous soils

Moderate

Susceptible

Susceptible

Resistant

Susceptible

Moderately susceptible

Susceptible

Susceptible

Cornerstone

Prunus dulcis x Prunus persica (USA)

Very high

Excellent

Good in heavy soils, tolerant to saline and high pH soils

High

Resistant

Susceptible

Strong resistance

Susceptible

Moderate resistance

Unknown

Susceptible

Cadaman

Prunus persica x Prunus davidiana (France, Hungary)

High

Good

Sandy loam, tolerant to alkaline soils and wet conditions

Unknown

Tolerant

Unknown

Resistant

Susceptible

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Krymsk® 1

Prunus tomentosa x Prunus cerasifera (Russia)

Dwarfing

Good

Sandy loam, tolerant to alkaline soils and wet conditions

Unknown

Unknown

Susceptible

Susceptible

Tolerant

Susceptible

Unknown

Susceptible

Krymsk® 86

Prunus persica x Prunus cerasifera (Russia)

Semi-vigorous

Good

Tolerant to alkaline soils and wet conditions

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Moderately susceptible

Moderate tolerance

Moderate resistance

Tolerant

Unknown

Elberta

Prunus persica (USA)

High

Good

Unknown

Unknown

Susceptible

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Results

Field and fruit quality results from Rootstock – Crop load study

Production results (yield, fruit quality) in response to rootstock and crop load (high, medium, low) treatments under a vase canopy system at Tatura, Victoria.

Nectarine and peach rootstock and crop load results

Science paper: Effect of rootstock and cropload management on yield and fruit quality of early-season nectarine 'Rose Bright' and late-season peach 'September Sun'.

  • Vase training system with croploads - high: minimally thinned; medium: commercial standard / moderately thinned; low: heavily thinned
  • Crop load and rootstock did not affect flowering date.
  • Irrespective of cultivar, low crop load produced larger fruit and advanced maturity.
  • ‘Krymsk® 86’ produced smaller tree size measured as canopy radiation interception (fPAR) for both cultivars.
  • For nectarine, high crop load produced high yields, low fruit weight, reduced sweetness (°Brix), delayed maturity, increased firmness and lower pack-out percentage. Krymsk® 86 outperformed Elberta rootstock in terms of fruit size, red skin coloration and pack-out.
  • For peach, highest yield occurred on Cornerstone trees compared to Elberta. This yield difference was reflected in yield components (fruit number, fruit size), and attributed to the capacity of available fruiting wood and photosynthetic capability governed by tree size (fPAR and branch size).
  • See science paper for more about the results:
  • Download PDF document (Note: this document does not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines)

Time series videos

Every few weeks photos were taken of each experiment, and produced into a video to show the resulting growth of tree canopies and fruit development.

Time series videos experiments 1 and 2

Project acknowledgement

This research (SF13001 Rootstock and training system to optimize stone fruit bearing and growth; SF17006 Summerfruit Orchard Phase 2) was funded by Agriculture Victoria with co-investment from Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the Summerfruit levy and funds from the Australian Government.

These publications may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its officers do not guarantee that these publications are without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in these publications.