Kousar Javaid, SN Qureshi, Lubna Masoodi, Dr. Poonam Sharma, Nasreen Fatima and Ishrat Saleem
An orchard design is a comprehensive strategy for the establishment and management of an orchard. Orchard design aims at efficient utilization of space and other resources, minimizing competition between trees for nutrients and moisture, maximizing light interception and to have compatibility with various management practices. There are five components that must be considered while orchard designing viz, tree density, rootstock, training system, row direction and orchard layout. Plant density greatly affects orchard efficiency, productivity and intensity of management needed to run the orchard. The different plant density systems are: (1) Low density system, (2) Medium density system and (3) High density system. Nowadays orchardists are switching to ultra-high density system since agricultural land is shrinking day by day due to urbanisation. Ideal plant density will depend on rootstock, training system, orchard layout etc. Rootstocks which offer maximum size control are used for high density planting while those which offer less size control are used for low density planting. Moreover, proper training helps in the development of strong tree framework and increases canopy porosity to light. For low-density orchards, the training systems used include open-centre, central leader and modified central leader. For high-density orchards, the training systems used are : perpendicular-V-system, parallel-V, Quad-V, vertical axis, slender spindle, Hytec, tatura trellis etc. Recently new training system (centrifugal system) has been developed in apple for better colour development due to its maximum light interception. Orchard layout is also an important component and it should aim at providing maximum number of trees per hectare, adequate space for proper development of trees and ensuring convenience in orchard cultural practices. There are two main systems of orchard layout: (1) Vertical row planting pattern (square, rectangular) and (2) Alternate row planting pattern (hexagonal, triangular and quincunx). Hexagonal system is considered best. North-South row direction is best for maximum solar radiation interception. Effectiveness of each component of orchard system viz, tree density, rootstock, training system, layout etc is measured by its influence on light interception and light distribution. Introduction of optimum strength of honey bee colonies in an orchard at proper location and distance from fruit trees is critically important due to their pivotal role in pollination, thus fruit set and production of orchard depends on honeybees. Proper and careful combination of the best components will result in best orchard design and thus higher productivity of quality fruit.
Kousar Javaid, SN Qureshi, Lubna Masoodi, Dr. Poonam Sharma, Nasreen Fatima and Ishrat Saleem. Orchard designing in fruit crops. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2017;6(5):1081-1091.