Cropping will dwarf fruit trees. A heavy crop reduces shoot and root growth and leaf size. Photosynthetic efficiency is increased, but the increased efficiency is not enough to make up for the greater percentage of carbohydrates going to the fruit. Cropping also lowers the tree water potential, which reduces vegetative growth. Environment dictates, to some extent, which is more important in reducing growth—carbohydrate competition or reduced water potential. In high sunlight, low rainfall environments, reduced water potentials probably have a greater impact than carbohydrate partitioning; the opposite is likely in cloudy, high rainfall environments.
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