Rainfall can become a limiting factor if supplemental irrigation is not available. Most temperate zone areas receive precipitation in the form of snowfall, and thus soil moisture is adequate in the spring. Rains in the spring in conjunction with the increasing temperatures can be problematic from the standpoint of the spread of diseases, including apple scab, during this period. Lack of rains (or irrigation) later in the season can negatively impact fruit enlargement and reduce fruit yield.
Selecting a proper site is critically important to the success or failure of an orchard. Many an operation, for instance, has failed or been rendered unprofitable because of repeated spring frost damage. Orchards are long-term investments, and site-related problems can be devastating.
Related Topics: CULTIVAR SELECTION; DISEASES; DORMANCY AND ACCLIMATION; ORCHARD PLANNING AND SITE PREPARATION; SPRING FROST CONTROL; TEMPERATURE RELATIONS
Childers, Norman F., Justin R. Morris, and G. Steven Sibbett (1995). Modern fruit science. Gainesville, FL: Horticultural Publications. Westwood, MelvinN. (1993). Temperate-zone pomology: Physiology and culture. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
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