The aim of the course is to provide the principles of arboriculture and cultivation methods for the various plant types (trees, bushes, lianes), by studying their morphology, anatomy and physiology and for the general goal of the adoption of the most modern cultivation techniques and valorisation of the genetic and the environmental resources.
Expected learning outcomes
The skills acquired will make the student able to: - evaluate the key parameters of plantations - manage different types of arboretums on rational and modern basis.
1CFU: Introduction to the Course: Importance, diffusion, use and problems of fruit tree species; commercial uses of the main species; statistical data on Italian, European and world productions; problems of modern fruit growing and wood culture. Morphological characteristics of tree plants (I) Root system: structure and anatomy, morphology; functions of different types of roots; growth and renewal; methods of distribution in the soil; competition and antagonism; mycorrhizae.
2CFU. Morphological characteristics of tree plants (II). Crown and trunk: structure, anatomy, morphology; fruiting formations; development and growth of the different organs; youth and adventitious organs; methods of growth; apical dominance; tropism and bearing; topophysis. Biological cycles and their regulation: vegetative and productive cycles; plant hormones; endodormience, paradormience and ecodormience: endogenous and climatic factors; cooling requirement and calculation methods.
3CFU. Biology of fruiting: morphogenesis of the flower bud, antogenic induction and differentiation; physiology of differentiation, influence of endogenous, environmental factors and cultivation techniques; macro and microsporogenesis; anthesis pollination, fertilization and fruit set; longevity of pollen and ovum, useful pollination period; incompatibility and self-incompatibility; sterility; parthenogenesis, apomixis; fruit drop. Development and growth of the fruit: dynamics of development and growth of the fruit and the seed; the different types of fruit and their structure; ripening process; ripeness and quality indices; collection; storage; hints of conservation pathologies. pre and postharvest factors on the quality of the fruit
4CFU. Propagation: gamic reproduction, seed formation; seed production and conservation; seed dormancy and its interruption, seed germination; sowing time and method, seedling care: youth and reproduction techniques. Agamic multiplication: physiology of rhizogenesis, rooting of cuttings; grafting, physiology of engraftment, purposes, techniques and types of grafting; choice and use of rootstock; influence and effects of rootstock, biotic and abiotic resistance; nursery and transplant; in vitro cultures, meristem cultures and micro propagation; hints of phytosanitary control of propagation material and European legislation and certification.
5CFU. Influence of pedoclimatic factors on productivity and product quality, environmental suitability: type of soil, structure, texture and depth of the soil; water and nutritional capacity, drainage, aeration, organic matter, fertility and soil pH; climatic conditions of temperate areas; effect of climatic adversities on the different organs of tree plants and their defense strategies: cold, wind, hail, heat; techniques of protection from environmental adversities. The planting of the arboretum: soil arrangement and soil fatigue and succession of crops; training systems; systems and plant density; plant growth regulators. Pruning: aims and physiological basis of the effects of pruning and plant response; dry and green pruning, topping, bending, incisions and decortications; light interception; production pruning; fruit thinning
6CFU. Water and mineral nutrition: absorption and transport of water, effects of drought, irrigation; absorption and transport of mineral elements and their function in arboreal plants; macro and micronutrients, salinity, fertilizations. Cultivation techniques: aims and physiological bases of the cultivation techniques and plant response; soil management; processing, weeding and mulching; Criteria for varietal choices: fixed pedoclimatic factors; variable cultural and economic factors.
7CFU Exercises related to fruit tree crops with educational visits to fruit farms in mountain environments
8CFU Exercises related to viticulture with educational visits to vineyards in mountain environments
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of biochemistry, plant physiology and agronomy
Recommended reference text: S. Silviero, G. Costa, R. Gucci 2012 Arboricoltura Generale. Editore: Pàtron Material distributed during the course: slides, figures, tables, graphs, various articles from specialized magazines. Material on the ARIEL website of the course
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam that will focus on the exam program aimed at ascertaining the knowledge of the entire program and the candidate's ability to evaluate the management and design of a orchard