Papaya performance unaffected by lateral shoot pruning


Carica papaya
Lateral branches

How to Cite

Brunner, B. R. (1998). Papaya performance unaffected by lateral shoot pruning. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 82(1-2), 63–68.


The practice of axillary shoot removal in young (3 to 4 mo) trees of papaya cultivar Puerto Rico 6-65 was examined in field experiments in 1993 and 1995 to determine whether or not subsequent performance is affected. No significant differences were observed between pruned and unpruned plants for flowering date, fruiting date, fruit yield, days to virus infection or virus severity. Significant differences were observed between years for all variables. In an unpruned papaya germplasm collection of 40 genotypes planted in 1993 and 1995, 17 (43%) had no lateral branch development, and 21 (53%) had a mean branch number of less than one per tree. Only two genotypes had a mean branch number greater than one per tree. The pruning of axillary shoots on young papaya plants apparently has no effect on flowering, fruiting or disease control. Most papaya genotypes produce few or no lateral branches when left unpruned. Any lateral branches that are produced can be removed at the time of the first harvest.


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