Fruit number and weight depend on length, width and thickness of fruiting cladode in Opuntia albicarpa Scheinvar variety ‘Cristalina’
Keywords:Cladode fruit load; Cladode fruit yield; Pruning; Fruit thinning.
Opuntia genus is distributed around the world. It grows in a wide range of environmental
conditions, which imply a great variability in fruit yield. Productivity also varies at within-tree
levels due to limiting factors like fruiting cladode size. Such a variation can be reduced
through horticultural practices. However, there are little evidences on that topic under
technical basis. So, we used a database with variables measured on 63 fruiting 1-year-old
terminal cladodes and their 532 fruits to characterize the dependence of number of fruits per
cladode or fruit weight on cladode maximum length, width and thickness, as well as the
relationships between fruit weight or cladode fruit yield and number of fruits per cladode for the case of Opuntia albicarpa Sheinvar variety ‘Cristalina’ using the boundary line approach.
Results suggest it may be recommendable not to remove, through pruning practice, fruiting
1-year-old terminal cladodes having ?28 cm, ?16 cm, and ?13 mm in length, width and
thickness, respectively, and the convenience of fruit thinning by keeping cladode loads from
7 to 14 fruits.