Orchard development stages
The life cycle of orchard tree crops consists of 3 periodic stages: the juvenile stage, the maturity stage and the senile stage.
The stages in the orchard have variable duration in relation to various endogenous-environmental conditions and become, for the fruit grower, a different economic value in relation both to the different cultivation treatments and to the different productive capacity.
The speed of passage between the various stages is regulated by genetic, technical-cultural and pedo-climatic factors and, therefore, is variable depending on the species and the cultivation environment.
It begins with the life of the fruit tree and ends with its entry into production. In this period the tree has an intense vegetative development, but it is incapable of producing fruit. This stage, called "unproductive stage", has a duration that is closely related to the species and in this it varies according to whether it is seedling (plant obtained from seed) or ASTONE (grafted plant).
The use of seedlings is reserved mainly for the search for genetic improvement aimed at the constitution of new cultivars and new rootstocks; in the practical field, astonis are generally used, having 1 year of age.
The duration of the juvenile stage of the SEMENZALI of POMACEE, in particular apple and pear trees, exceeds the decade. In this period they show morphological, histological and physiological aspects with a wild footprint. The juvenile stage of stone seedlings usually does not exceed 5 years and does not show any particular changes. In the case of grafted fruit trees, the unproductive period generally has a duration of less than 3 years, which varies in relation to the species and rootstock used. In general, the FRANCO rootstock (that is obtained from seed after selection), prolongs the unproductive stage compared to the rootstocks obtained by vegetative means in the latter, while those of weak vigor anticipate the completion of the juvenile stage compared to the more vigorous ones.
It starts when the epigeal portion has reached a suitable development. The vegetative activity is slowed down, typical of the juvenile stage, while the leaves acquire more and more ability to synthesize specific endogenous phyto-regulators (hormones) able to induce the flower differentiation of neutral buds. Thus begins the first manifestation of the reproductive cycle which gradually evolves into an increasingly regular fruiting. Regarding SEMENZALS, in the passage from a juvenile stage to a maturity stage, a particular process called "GENTLILIZATION" takes place, during which the epigeal part begins to lose the wild footprints to move towards the normal ones. All this happens gradually starting from the apical area gradually towards the base. The basal zone will maintain the characteristics of youthfulness as long as all the overlying epigeal portion will have reached the stage of maturity.Development stages of the orchard: stage of inlet
It starts with the aging of the root system and consequent reduction of the absorbent activity. It causes a general weakening of the vegetative activity and a slowing down of all vital functions.
The tree manifests a scarce formation of new shoots, the renewal of the fruit branches tends to run out and the production decreases and becomes occasional, uneconomic and quantitatively poor. The relationship between leaf mass and new organs is altered and determines an excessive accumulation of hydrocarbonate substances: the leaf mass turns out to be remarkable compared to the modest quantity of new organs formed. The annual crop is also altered: the duration of the vegetative period is a few weeks while that of the processing period is considerably prolonged.