In some growing areas, leaves are pruned to facilitate entry into the field for various activities, particularly harvesting. All evaluations of leaf pruning have shown that yields are reduced proportionate to the amount of leaf removed (Pineapple Research Institute of Hawaii (PRI) data), and the earlier the removal takes place, the greater the impact (Fig. 6.18). Leaf removal also has an adverse effect on the growth of both slips and suckers (Fig. 6.18). The reason for this dramatic impact is twofold: first and most obvious is the reduction in the supply of metabolites from the leaf canopy; and second is the loss of dry matter already accumulated in the leaves, which would be available for fruit
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Fig. 6.18. Effect of date of leaf defoliation on average fresh weight of fruit (y = 635.4 + 12.57x, R2 = 0.98), slips (y = 141.17 + 5.11 x, R2 = 0.92), and suckers (y = 106.5 + 3.42x, R2 = 0.76) of 'Smooth Cayenne' pineapple in Hawaii; n = 9 for all (A. Hepton, unpublished results).
development (King, 1935). Carbohydrate allocation and reallocation during fruit development are discussed in Bartholomew et al. (Chapter 8, this volume).
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