Trees-structure and function vol:16 issue:7 pages:473-478
Main shoot and sylleptic shoot growth characteristics were measured during and after the first year of growth of 255 Telamon x Braeburn apple seedlings. Although mean main shoot growth characteristics between branched and non-branched trees were significantly different, many non-branched trees expressed similar main shoot growth to branched trees. The variables describing length, number and position of the sylleptic shoots were used to classify branched trees into architecturally different groups. A continuum from trees with few and short shoots to trees with many long shoots is observed. The release of axillary buds from apical dominance is not under complete control by the apical meristem. Genetic seedling difference at the level of roots presumably plays an important role in sylleptic branching. Genetic variation in terms of number, position, and subsequent elongation of sylleptic shoots is clearly observed.