Effect of pruning on economic biomass production of Protea cv. Carnival

Gerber, Audrey I. (Audrey Inga) (1994-12)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 1994.

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Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Many Proreaceae species indigenous to South Africa have potential as cutflower crops. Commercial production of proteas for expurt, mainly to Europe, must emphasise quality of flowers and time of production. Good export quality flowers have stems longer than 50cm and unblemished flowers. Cut-flower proteas are in greater demand and command better prices during the European winter (September to May, Southern hemisphere), when competition from flowers grown in Europe is less. Both quality and time of harvest can be manipulated by pruning techniques. Protea cv. Carnival (a natural hybrid, possibly between P. neriifolia and P. compacta) produces flowers in late summer, from February through to May. Picking flowers or pruning shoots of Proteo cv. Carnival entails removing the terminal portion of shoots with heading cuts to leave on the plant short stumps, known as bearers. Lateral shoots arising from axillary buds on bearers elongate by successive growth flushes until flowers are initiated terminally. The characteristics of the shoot determine whether or not flower initiation will take place, and will affect the quality of the resulting flower. Plants were pruned to produce bearers of different length and diameter. The characteristics of shoots arising from different bearers were recordea. Thick bearers of length 20-25cm produced the most shoots, and the longest shoots. Plants producing flowers biennially, rather than ann'Jally, produced thicker bearers, which, in turn, lead to production of better quality shoots arising from the bearers in the following season. Changing the time of pruning changed both the flowering cycle and the biomass allocation of Prorea cv. Carnival. Plants of Profea cv. Carnival were pruned on six different dates in 1991. Pruning in March, April or May, 1991, resulted in an annual flowering cycle. Less than 40% of the fresh mass produced in 1993 was reproductive, of which approximately 5% had stems long enough for export. The 1994 annual harvest was of s:milar size and quality as the 1993 annual harvest. Pruning in July, August or September, 1991, resulted in a biennial cycle of flowering. No flowers were produced in 1992, and a large crop was harvested in 1993. In 1993 lip to 70% of the fresh mass produced was reproductive, of which approximately 80% had stems long enough for export. Plants were pruned shortly after flowering in 1993, and the biennial cycle was replaced by an alternate flowering cycle, with a large crop being followed by a smaller crop. The large harvest in 1993 was significantly earlier than normal, but the small crop produced in 1994 was later. The harvest in 1994 from plants with an alternate flowering cycle was similar in size to the 1994 harvest from plants floweting annually, but flower stems were longer.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Heelwat inheemse Proteaceae spesies besit die vereiste eienskappe om as snyblomr.-le verhanctci te wod. Indien proteas kommersieel verbou sou word vir uitvoer moet die klem val op gehalte van blomme en die tyd van produksie. Goeie gehalte uitvoer blomme moet steellengte van langer as 50cm en perfek gevormde blomme besit. Daar is 'n groter aanvraag na kommersieel verboude proteas gedurende die Europese winter (September tot Mei, suidelike halfrond) en beter pryse word derhalwe ook dan verkry. Beide gehalte en die oes periode kan gemanipuleer word deur snoeitegnieke. Wanneer blomme gepluk word of lote gesnoei word van Profea cv. Carnival (waarskynlik 'n kruising tussen P. compacta x P. neriifolia) word die terminale gedeelte van die loot teruggesny. Die oorblywende gedeelte bestaan uit kort stompe wat bekend staan as draers. Laterale lote afkomstig van okselknoppe op draers verleng totdat 'n blom terminaal ontwikkel. Die eienskappe van die loot bepaal of 'n blom inisieer sal word of nie, en sal ook die gehalte van die gevormde blom beinvloed. Protea plante was gesnoei om draers van verkillende lengtes en deursnee te produseer. Die eienkappe van lote afkomstig van die verskillende tipe draers was gemeet. Dik ..draers van lengte 20-25cm het die meeste asook die langste lote geproduseer. Plante wat twee-jaarliks, in teenstelling met jaarliks, geblom het, het dikker draers geproduseer en ook gelei tot produksie van beter gehalte lote in die opeenvolgende seisoen. Die verandering in die tyd van snoei het beide die blom siklus en die biomassa verspreiding beinvloed. Plante van Protea cv. Carnival was up 6 verskillende datums in 1991 gesnoei. Snoei in Maart, April of Mei, 1991, het 'n jaarlikse blom siklus veroorsaak. Minder as 40% van die vars massa geproduseer in 1993 was reproduktief, waarvan 5% steellengte lank genoeg vir uitvoer gehad hel. Die 1994 jaarlikse oes was van dieselfde grootte en gehalte as die van 1993. Snoei in Julie, Augustus of September, 1991, het egter 'n twee-jaarlikse blom siklus veroorsaak. Geen blomme was in 1992 geproduseer nie, maar die oes in 1993 was heelwat groter as die jaarlikse oeste. In 1993 was to 70% van die vars massa geproduseer, reproduktief, waarvan 80% steellengte lank genoeg vir uitvoer gehad het. Die twee-jaarlikse blom siklus het 'n vroeer oes in 1993 veroorsaak, maar 'n later oes in 1994. Die twee-jaarlikse oes in 1994 was van dieseifde grootte as die jaarlikse oes in 1994, maar die blomstele was langer.

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