EFFECT OF PRUNING AND SKIFFING ON GROWTH AND PRODUCTIVITY OF DARJEELING TEA (CAMELLIA SINENSIS L.)

R Kumar, J Bisen, Mahipal Singh, B Bera
International Journal of Technical Research and Applications   unpublished
Pruning cycle is one of the most important operations in tea with a primary objective to replace the old set of maintenance foliage by a fresh one, so that tea bushes remain healthy and continue to provide succulent shoots to manufacture quality tea. An investigation was initiated in Experimental Farm, Darjeeling Tea Research and Development Centre, Kurseong, Dist. Darjeeling at 1347 m a.m.s.l on old chinary tea bushes to evaluate the suitability of pruning cycles of varying durations and
more » ... durations and pruning skiffing sequence on yield and crop distribution. Shoot extension rate, active and banjhi shoot (shoots with restricted growth), net photosynthetic rate, leaf water potential, leaf area distribution and tea yield were measured. Active shoot density decreased with age, with the corresponding increase in banjhi shoot density. Net photosynthetic rate and leaf water potential were highest during the first year and then decreased subsequently in all pruning cycles. Leaf area index (LAI) increased up to 3 rd year in 4 and 5 year pruning cycles after pruning and reduced thereafter. The maximum yield was observed in 5 year pruning cycle in 3 rd year after pruning and then reduced with pruning age. The yield of all pruning cycle were lowest in first year after pruning which may be attributed to small bushes with few branches and lower LAI. The maximum yield was also observed when pruned in December followed by November which may be due to maximum accumulation of root starch in December.
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