Comparison of Growth and Yield of Apple ( .Malus Domestica Borkh.) Tree Cultivars at Three Altitudes in Gamo Gofa Zone, South Ethiopia

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Growth and yield of seven apple tree ( Mains domestica Borkh .) cultivars were compared in threealtitudinal zones in Game Gofa , at Chencha , Bonke and Boreda, Southern Regional State , Ethiopia, to relate crop growth and yield with altitude. The seven cultivars, BR-64, Granny Smith , Gala , Anna, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Crispin were of similar age, had identical rootstocks and were growing at the same site in each altitude under similar management practices. Data on new shoot growth , leaf area, height, stem diameter, number of fruits and fruit size were collected and 60 home gardens of the apple growers were surveyed. Interview's were conducted and questionnaires administrated in order to get information on the practice of apple growers and their perception. The result showed that , more than half of the area of home gardens of the apple growers were used for apple cultivation for income generation and for domestic consumption. Farmers indicated that the expansion of the crop was related to the high price of the fruit, in Chencha and Bonke the number of BR-64, Granny Smith and Gala was more than that of Anna and Golden Delicious. The latter cultivars were not widely planted due to their lower yield at the two sites. Anna and Golden Delicious were better in Boreda than in Chencha and Bonke. Farmers’ selection of cultivars were based on experience on yield performances. On the other hand, most farmers showed limited knowledge of rootstocks used , cultivar selection at different sites, pruning and thinning activities. Further, management practices such as mulching and manuring at proper time of cultivars new growth and blooming at Fall ( tsedey ) was not performed . Similarly knowledge of apple diseases and pests that reduce yield was not apparant and little traditional methods of prevention were used Of the seven cultivars BR - 64 , Granin Smith and Gala grafted on MM 106 rootstock showed an increase with altitude in new shoot grow th, leaf area , stem diameter and fruit number. Both in Chencha and Bonke these cultivars shaded their leaves early in June and resumed blooming and leafing in September. For Anna and Golden Delicious the same parameters decreased with increase in altitude. The results indicate that while Anna and Golden Delicious were suited for warmer climates, BR-64 , Granny Smith and Gala •were more suited for colder climates. Red Delicious and Crispin had moderate growth and did not show altitude preference. It is recommended that selection and distribution of apple seedlings should be altitude specific based on the preference of the cultivars.