Department of Fruit Science
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Research Project  : Niche Area of Excellence - Technology for sustainable apple production

 Section wise research and development activities

Plant propagation and nursery management

Orchard management and irrigation

Fruit tree nutrition

Crop regulation

Research Achievements

Varieties/cultivars for commercial cultivation


Propagation and nursery management

Chip budding

Orchard management

    High density planting

Training and Pruning

Irrigation and moisture conservation

Weed Control

        Application of Glyphosate @ 0.8 L/ha effectively controlled common weeds in plum and almond orchards.

Fruit Tree Nutrition

Crop Regulation

Extension Activities

    Farm Advisory Services

 State Level Workshops

Radio and Doordarshan

Lectures in Advance Trainings

Video Films

Distribution of quality planting material


On Going Research Projects

Title of the Project

Funding Agency

  (in Lakh)

Name of PI.


Quality production of kiwifruit through improved cultivation technology for the farmers of mid hills of HP ICAR Rs.10.10 lakhs Dr V S Rana 3 years
Nutrition based productivity of Plum, apricot and peach fruits of mid hills of HP ICAR Rs.10.01 lakhs Dr A S Rehalia 3 years
Niche area of excellence : Technologies for sustainable apple production ICAR Rs.2.45 crores Dr A S Rehalia Plan Project
Network project on production of ;planting materials of fruit crops and refinement of technology in horticultural crops ICAR Rs.75.0 lakhs Dr J S Chandel 3 years
Network project on creation of bud wood and rootstock bank for temperate fruits ICAR Rs.1.50 crore Dr D D Sharma 3 years
Network project Outreach of technologies for temperate fruit crops ICAR Rs.18.00 lakhs Dr Kuldeep Mehta 3 years

Completed Research Projects

Title of the Project

Funding Agency

  (in Lakh)

Name of PI.

Crop diversification with special emphasis on creation of bud-wood- bank of nut and other fruit crops NHB 2.30 K.K. Jindal PI/J. S. Chandel Co-PI
Balanced nutrient use for sustaining high yield fruit quality and leaf nut status of plum PPIC 1.50 N.K.Julka
Clonal selection and quality planting material production of almond and walnuts NATP 16.83 N. K. Julka, Co-PI
Network project on enhancing productivity of apple IN iNDIA NATP 47.65 K. K. Jindal PI/ D. R. Gautam, Co-PI
Integrated nutrient and water management of kiwi fruit NATP 20.28 J. S. Chandel
Isolation, characterization and screening of VAM fungi and Azotobacter NATP 43.42 S. D. Sharma
Research project for potash and phosphate PPIC 0.50 R. P. Singh
Water Management including micro- irrigation and fertigation in high density orchards NATP 38.22 P. S. Chauhan
Screening of olive cultivars for their drought tolerance potentials and to develop technologies for sustainable olive production in HP ICAR 17.42 N Sharma
Quality nursery production of Fruit Crops ICAR 35.01 Dr N K Joolka
Quality nursery production of walnut in polyhouses and its popularization in HP ICAR 70.80 Dr J S Chandel
DRIS diagnosis and recommendations integrated system as a guide to orchard fertilization for apple in HP DST 10.00 Dr Sunil Dutt Sharma


Niche Area of Excellence - Technology for sustainable apple production

Name of the Project                                        : Niche Area of Excellence - Technology for sustainable apple production

Name of Institute                                            : Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan

Date of start                                                    : 27.6.2006

Duration of the project                                    :  Plan Scheme

Locations of the projects

i) Regional Horticultural Research Station, Mashorba           

ii) Regional Horticultural Research Station, Bajaura               

iii) Department of Fruit Science

Goal of projects:-                                            : Scientific transformation of apple cultivation in Himachal Pradesh

Objectives :

    1. To develop compact production systems for increased yield, improve fruit quality, establishment of bud wood bank and 

       nursery production.

    2. To study the effect of changing climatic conditions.

    3. To develop efficient nutrient and water management techniques for sustainable production of apple.

    4. To overcome biotic and abiotic stresses through advanced technologies.

    5.  To update knowledge and skills of orchardist.

    Keeping in view for the above mentioned objectives the following trials were laid out at RHRS, Mashobra and Bajaura

   Highlights of the projects

  1. The bud-wood bank of various apple cultivars viz. Gale Gala, Gibson Golden, Golden Delicious, Red Chief, Granny Smith, Early Red One, Oregon Spur-II, Scarlet Spur-II, Coe Red Fuji and Red Gravenstein has been established in Department of Fruit Science, Regional Horticultural Research Station Mashobra (Shimla), Regional Horticultural Research Station Bajaura (Kullu). The elite planting material is being produced each year for distribution to the orchardist of apple growing states of India.

  2. Stionic combinations of cultivar Scarlet Gala on EMLA-7 rootstock and Red Fuji on EMLA-111 performed better ion fruit set and yield.

           Vance Delicious worked on M-4, M-7, MM-106 and MM-111 reveled highest plant height on MM-106 and fruit set on M-4 rootstock.

            3.  Impact of increase in temperature

                    In Mashobra (Shimla) area the impact of changing climate in the present scenario was studied with respect to bloom dates of Delicious apple trees over a period of last 23 years i.e. 1985-2008. It was observed that days taken from 1st January to full bloom showed decline trend (Y=-0.8844X+115.87) with respect to reference year. The slope of regression equations was 54.50 per cent indicating high sensitivity days taken from 1st January to full bloom stage with respect to increase in reference years. Thus, it indicates that the bloom dates advanced significantly over the period of time.

    Further, the study was carried out to determine the projected impact of unit increase (0.6oC) Over the mean temperature 7.63 oC on chill hours and chill unit accumulations (Table 1).

Table 1: Projected impact of increase in mean temperature (7.63oC-DJF) on chill unit accumulation.

Increase in temperature

Mean temperature o C

 Chilling accumulation

0-7.2oC (CH)

<7.2oC (CH)


 0.6 8.23 923 1023 1142
1.2 8.83 860 953 1065
1.8 9.43 806 892 997
2.4 10.03 758 839 937
3.0 10.63 715 792 884
3.6 11.23 677 749 837
4.2 11.83 642 711 795
4.8 12.43 611 677 756
5.4 13.03 583 646 721

    It was determined that increase in temperature by one unit (0.6oC), there would be 923 hours (0-7.2oC), 1020 hours (<7.2oC) 1142 chill unit accumulation. However the increase in base temperature by 5 units i.e. mean temperature of 10.63oC during DJF months will contributed only 715 hours (0-7.2oC), 792 (<7.2oC) and 884 chill units leading to lack of chilling requirement under such projected temperature.

    In Kullu and Mandi and locations the winters were warm and dry. The chilling requirement was not completed. Highly erratic flowering was recorded in apple. In most of the apple growing areas pollinizers Golden Delicious, Red Gold, Tydman's Early Worcester and Gala flowered well before flowering of Delicious group of apple. After discussing with farmers it was observed only Black-Ben Davis flowerd simultaneously with Delicious apples. In Delicious apples highly uneven flowering was recorded. Some buds remained dormant and other showed full blossom. Poor fruit set was observed. Many of the apple belts were also damaged by hail storms.

4. Evaluation of low chilling cultivar of apple for sub-temperate zone

    Low chilling varieties of apple Viz. Mollie's Delicious and Anna grafted on M-9 rootstock have been planted at Dhaban (Balh valley) located at an elevation of 950 m above mean sea level Mollie's Delicious on M-9 gave 15 Kg fruit per tree during 2008. Heavy fruit set has been observed during 2009 and thinning has been done to improve fruit size in Mollie's Delicious. Fruit set in Anna is normal.

5. Integrated nutrient management system for sustainable apple production

            So, the initial field investigation concluded that the substitution of inorganic sources of NP and K can be possible up to the extent of 20 per cent with vermicompost and biofertiliozer to ensure the continuous supply of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content to the soil. Further the dose of 80 % NPK supplemented with 25 kg of vermicompost and 60 gm of VAM per tree was found beneficial for increasing the productivity of apple crop.

            Drip irrigation at 80 Etc and the 2/3rd of the recommended dose of NPK in fertigation in Red Fuji and Scarlet Gala cultivars resulted as best treatment with respect to vegetative growth, yield, quality, fertilizer and water use efficiency.

6. Pest management

7. Development of techniques to overcome delayed and erratic bud break

                To develop the techniques for the supplementation of chilling requirement of apple, a trial was conducted to study the effect of Dormex (1%) and Horticultural Mineral Oil (HMO @ 2% & 4%).Three apple cultivars Viz. Starking Delicious, Golden Delicious and Red Gold were taken for study. The spurs of these cultivars were collected at at the accumulation of 300, 600, 900 and 1200 chill unit under the field conditions.

                It was observed that the treated spurs at 300 CU were early to sprout followed by 600 CU 900 CU accumulations the study further revels that there was response of the treatment. It clearly shows that the treatment 1.0% Dormex + 2.0 % HMO treatment should be made to the apple trees in the localities where accumulations of required chill unit is a problem.

8. Effect of herbozyme spray on fruit set, fruit yield and fruit size in apple

                         i) The herbozyme sprayed at 20 ml/L at pink bud and petal fall stages was observed better as compared to other treatments.

                    II) When herbozyme is applied at pink bud and petal fall and pea size stage, the dose of 2.0 ml/L was observed better in comparison

                         to rest of the treatments.

9. Spray of 'Sitofex (Forchlorfenuron) for enhancing the apple production

                 The 7 ml dose of Sitofex per litre of water was observed superior in increasing fruit set, yield and other physico-chemical parameters of Vance Delicious over control.

10. To update knowledge and skills of orchardist

        Regional Horticutural Research Station, Bajaura, (Kullu)

        1. One day field camp        :    5

        2. Three day field camp      :    3

       Regional Horticutural Research Station, Mashobra (Shimla)

        1. Five day field camp        : 1