Investigation into the shoot growth and fruit yield for Hippophae rhamnoides L. under varied growth conditions

T. Rocksch, E. Triquart

Humboldt-University of Berlin,

Institute for Horticultural Sciences, Section of Horticultural Engineering

Lentzeallee 55-57, D-14195 Berlin

Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) is frequently described in literature as a very undemanding species that grows well in marginal locations as a pioneer wood, provided it has an adequate light source. In cultivation areas, high costs mean that these plants are grown without additional watering. In sandy locations, symptoms of deficient growth are more frequently observed, most likely due to an inadequate water supply.

In a Brandenburg cultivation area with 9 years growth, and minimal vegetation covering a droplet irrigation system (RAM 17, 30 cm droplet distance) was built. Before the investigation was undertaken, an extensive ground survey was carried out. The shoots and the fruit growth zones between irrigated and non-irrigated variants were compared as well as an assessment of the feasibility of the fruit investigation.

In August 2001 the average shoot length of irrigated variants was 19.6 cm, 9.6 cm more than that of the non-irrigated variant. The shoot diameter was increased by 2.3 mm (1.4 mm unwatered). Measurements of the fruit bearing branches in August 2002 revealed a doubling of the fruit bearing zones on the watered variants, to 77 cm (1 and 2 year old fruit bearing wood). Even with cutting, the shoots in 2002 achieved a length of 60 cm; three times that of the non-irrigated variants. The 100-fruit-weight at harvest time was 13 % higher for the irrigated in comparison with the non-irrigated variants, however the maximum of the 100-fruit-weight in the same production area on loamy sandy locations was not achieved.

Mechanised harvesting of the non-irrigated dwarf variants in 2002 was not possible due to the insufficient fruit growth and small fruit branch diameters. From the irrigated variants a yield of 1.58 kg/lfm was achieved, corresponding to approximately 3960 kg/ha. The analyses showed that Sea buckthorn production in marginal locations should be carried out with additional irrigation.