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Cristian Paltineanu, Leinar Septar, Corina Gavat, Emil Chitu, Alexandru Oprita, Cristina Moale, Gheorghe Lamureanu and Andrei Vrinceanu

Abstract

Root density was investigated using the trench method in a cherry (Prunus avium grafted on Prunus mahaleb) orchard with clean cultivation in inter-rows and in-row. Trenches of 1 m width and 1.2 m depth were dug up between neighbouring trees. The objectives of the paper were to clarify the spatial distribution of root density of cherry trees under the soil and climate conditions of the region to expand knowledge of optimum planting distance and orchard management for a broad area of chernozems. Some soil physical properties were significantly worsened in inter-rows versus in-row, mainly due to soil compaction, and there were higher root density values in in-row versus inter-rows. Root density decreased more intensely with soil depth than with distance from trees. The pattern of root density suggests that the cherry tree density and fruit yield could be increased. However, other factors concerning orchard management and fruit yield should also be considered. The results obtained have a potential impact to improve irrigation and fertilizer application by various methods, considering the soil depth and distance from trees to wet soil, in accordance with root development.

Open access

Cristian Paltineanu, Leinar Septar, Corina Gavat, Emil Chitu, Alexandru Oprita, Cristina Moale, Irina Calciu, Olga Vizitiu and Gheorghe Lamureanu

Abstract

The available information on root system in fully mature peach orchards in semi-arid regions is insufficient. This paper presents a study on the root system density in an irrigated peach orchard from Dobrogea, Romania, using the trench technique. The old orchard has clean cultivation in inter-row and in-row. The objectives of the study were to: test the hypothesis that the roots of fully mature peach trees occupy the whole soil volume; find out if root repulsive effect of adjacent plants occurred for the rootstocks and soil conditions; find relationships between root system and soil properties and analyse soil state trend. Some soil physical properties were significantly deteriorated in inter-row versus in-row, mainly due to soil compaction induced by technological traffic. Density of total roots was higher in-row than inter-row, but the differences were not significant. Root density decreased more intensely with soil depth than with distance from tree trunks. Root density correlated with some soil properties. No repulsive effect of the roots of adjacent peach trees was noted. The decrease of root density with distance from trunk can be used in optimising tree arrangement. The conclusions could also be used in countries with similar growth conditions.