A procedure to rejuvenate and restore the production potential of old unproductive and wilt affected orchards has been developed, which employs pruning of branches at different periodicity and at different severities.

Crowding and encroachment of guava trees with subsequent inefficient light utilization is an obvious problem with older orchards, if trees are not well managed.

The internal bearing capacity of guava trees also decreases with time, due to overshadowing of internal bearing wood.

Rejuvenation technique

The rejuvenation technology involves cutting of exhausted trees (showing marked decline in annual production) to the extent of 1.0 to 1.5 metre height above the ground level during May with the objective of facilitating new shoots.

The newly emerging shoots are allowed to grow up to a length of about 40 to 50cm which could be attained in 4-5 months of pruning.

These shoots are further pruned out to about 50 per cent of its total length in October to facilitate emergence of multiple shoots below the pruning point. Profusely emerging shoots in the inner canopy are also pruned out to promote branching. The multiple shoots developed as a result of October pruning are capable of producing flower buds for the rainy season crop.

Those farmers keen to harvest the rainy season crop can allow the shoots to bear buds and fruits.

However, as the winter crop has more marketing edge and value due to quality with the onset of rainy crop, shoot pruning (50 per cent) is done again in May.

This procedure of sequential and periodic pruning is continued every year for proper shaping of tree canopy and to ensure enhanced production of quality fruits during winter season.

Management practices

— Apply cow dung or copper oxychloride on the cut portion.

— Make a basin around the tree for regular watering and apply FYM and fertilizer.

— Apply 50 kg FYM per plant and recommended dose of fertilizers.

— Apply paste of copper and lime on the larger limbs as well as trunk to prevent sunburn injury.

— Ensure irrigation soon after rejuvenation for shoot sprouting.

R. B. HEMA

Krishi Vigyan Kendra

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu