Alternate Bearing

Alternate Bearing


the nonannual fruiting of fruit and forest trees. Usually all fruit trees yield an annual harvest when they are young, but as they grow older they bear fruit periodically, often every other year. When poorly maintained, young trees may also bear periodically. Trees bearing stones or berries usually yield an annual harvest. In forest trees (such conifers as pine and spruce) and fruit trees, alternate bearing is caused to a large degree by climatic conditions, and it decreases from west to east.

The proper care of fruit orchards provides for the necessary concentration of nutrient substances in the plant cells, especially protein matter, and for an optimal ratio of carbohydrates and nitrogen, which stimulates the setting of flower buds in the harvest year for fruiting in the next year. In this way, annual harvests are ensured. To obtain a good harvest of high-quality fruit every year a tree must have 30 to 60 leaves for each fruit. This is possible if the tree has many annual shoots; thus, shoot formation is an important factor in high yield. Moderate flowering is one of the most important conditions for annual fruiting. Only a moderately flowering tree is capable of producing a large harvest and setting flower buds for the following year’s harvest. Abundantly flowering pome trees (apple and pear) should have their excess flowers or set fruits removed at an early stage of development by growth substances to preserve nutrient matter for the formation of the remaining fruits.

Alternate bearing characterizes only some plant varieties. For example, some varieties of apple (Slavianka, Pepin shafrannyi) yield annually, others (Antonovka obyknovennaia, Anis polosatyi) require special maintenance in order to do so, and still others (Kandil’-Sinap, Grushovka moskovskaia) are marked strictly by alternate bearing. Various agricultural procedures and the stocks to which varieties are grafted also influence the periodicity of fruiting.


Plodovodstvo. 2nd ed. Edited by V. A. Kolesnikov. Moscow, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
Although there was a strong tendency for individual spurs to not bear fruit in successive years, whole trees or orchards are not strongly alternate bearing because fewer than 20% of the spurs on a tree bear fruit in a given year (Tombesi et al.
The biennial bearing tendency of each rootstock was assessed by calculating the alternate bearing index (ABI) using the formula: AM = [([a.
This cultivar produces seeds, has a late maturation and a high tendency for alternate bearing, characterized by a year of bearing with high yield of small fruit and scarce flowering, followed by a year of insignificant fruit yield and abundant flowering (MARTINEZ-FUENTES et al.
The accumulation of reserves in inversely related to crop load, and a depletion of them under heavy crop load has been related to tree collapse and the triggering of an alternate bearing habit [15].
Gola and Calcutti are two widely grown commercial cultivars the former is consistent bearer while later shows alternate bearing habit.
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Orange trees, like most citrus, tend to exhibit alternate bearing.
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Another associated factor is alternate bearing, which is heightened by the advanced age of the trees.
Lastly, plums sometimes exhibit alternate bearing tendencies, which means that a heavy crop one year may be followed by a lighter crop the next.
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