Improving Growth and Performance of Young Almond Trees in Nursery by Optimizing Mineral Nutrition

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Horticulture, College of Aburaihan, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Short growing season restricts production of standard-sized fruit trees in nurseries at cold regions. Enhancing plant growth by optimizing program of mineral nutrition may solve the problem. This study evaluated efficiency of fertilizers [urea, sulfur coated urea (SCU), or foliar applications of a NPK compound fertilizer] for optimizing the growth of seedling rootstocks and grafted young almond trees at the nursery in a cold region. At the end of the first growing season, the growth and quality of the almond seedlings were evaluated and they were budded in September. At the following season, the treatments were repeated on the grafted trees and grafting success and performance of the young almond trees were evaluated. The result showed that application of 600 kg ha-1 SCU and urea were the most successful treatments on enhancing the growth of the seedlings. Application of 400 and 600 kg ha-1 urea and SCU, and 30 kg ha-1 NPK resulted in the highest grafting success at the second season. The largest shoots of scion were found in the 400-600 kg ha-1 urea and SCU treatments. The highest leaf greenness and chlorophyll concentration were found in the 600 kg SCU ha-1 and 30 kg ha-1 NPK treatments. The highest leaf potassium and phosphorus concentrations were found in 30 kg ha-1 NPK treatment. The highest leaf nitrogen concentration was detected in treated plants with 400 and 600 kg SCU and 600 kg urea per hectare. According to the results, application of 400 kg ha-1 SCU is recommended to obtain young standard-sized almond plants in the nurseries.


Aboutalebi Jahromi A, Hosseini Farahi M (2016) Seed germination, vegetative growth and concentration of some elements in French marigold (Tageta patula) as influenced by salinity and ammonium nitrate. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 3(2), 199-209.
Afifipour Z, Khosh KM (2015) Efficacy of spraying a mixture of amino acids on the physiological and morphological characteristics of tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.). 2(2), 99-204
Ahmadimotlagh G, Majidian M, Mohsenabadi G, Fouman A, Alami A (2014) Effects of nitrogen fertilizer on yield and quality of three forage sorghum cultivars in Rasht region. Journal of Crop Production and Processing (JCPP). 10, 37-47.
Akhlaghi Amiri N, Asadi Kangarshahi A, Arzani K and Barzegar M (2016) Calyx biochemical changes and possibility of reducing Thomson orange june drop by nutrition elements and growth regulators. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology 3(2), 179-186.
Ansari A and Gharaghani A (2019) A comparative study of genetic diversity, heritability and inter-relationships of tree and nut attributes between Prunus scoparia and P. elaeagnifolia using multivariate statistical analysis. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology 6(1), 137-150.
Ashrafi N, Nikbakht A, Gheysari M, Etemadi N, Scobar F (2013) Olive seedlings response to refined waste water treatment in two irrigation methods. Water Resarch in Agriculture. 27(3), 329-336. (In Persian).
Azeem B, KuShaari K, Man ZB, Basit A, Thanh TH (2014) Review on materials & methods to produce controlled release coated urea fertilizer. Journal of Controlled Release. 181, 11-21.
Bally ISE (2006) Mango (Mangifera indica L.) traditional trees of pacific islands. Their culture, environment, and use. Permanente Agriculture Resources (PAR), Holualoa, Hawaii.
Barker AV, Pilbeam DJ (2015) Handbook of plant nutrition. CRC press. pp. 21-121.
Barzegar T, Moradi P, Nikbakht J and Ghahremani Z (2016) Physiological response of okra cv. Kano to foliar application of putrescine and humic acid under water deficit stress. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 3(2), 187-197.
Batjes NH (2014) Total carbon and nitrogen in the soils of the world. European Journal of Soil Science. 47(2), 151-163.
Bernardo LM, Clark RB, Maranville JW (1999) Nitrate/ Ammonium ratio effects on nutrient solution, pH, dry matter yield, and nitrogen uptake of sorghum. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 7, 1389-1400.
Bojovic B, Stojanovic J (2005) Chlorophyll and carotenoid content in wheat cultivars as a function of mineral nutrition. Archives of Biological Science. 57, 283–290.
Boncz MA, Formagini EL, Santos LDS, Marques RD, Paulo PL (2012) Application of urea dosing for alkalinity supply during anaerobic digestion of vinasse. Water Science and Technology. 66(11), 2453-2460.
Chaker R, Gargouri K, Ben Mbarek H, Maktouf S, Palese AM, Celani G, Bouzid J (2019) Carbon and nitrogen balances and CO2 emission after exogenous organic matter application in arid soil. Carbon Management. 10(1), 23-36.
Da Costa TP, Westphalen G, Dalla Nora FB, de Zorzi Silva B, da Rosa GS (2019) Technical and environmental assessment of coated urea production with a natural polymeric suspension in spouted bed to reduce nitrogen losses. Journal of Cleaner Production. 10(222), 324-34.
Dehghanipoodeh S, Askari MA, Talaei AR, Babalar M (2018) Evaluation the preharvest application of iron and nitrogen on some qualitative characteristics of two apple cultivars during cold storage. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 5(1), 31-42.
Dewald L, White TL, Duryea ML (1992) Growth and phenology of seedlings of four contrasting slash pine families in ten nitrogen regimes. Tree Physiology. 11(3), 255-269.
Dordas C, Sioulas C (2008) Safflower yield, chlorophyll content, photosynthesis, and water use efficiency response to nitrogen fertilization under rain-fed conditions. Industrial Crops and Products. 27, 75–85.
Faust M (1989) Physiology of temperate zone fruit trees. John Wiley & Sons. New York.
Fernández-Escobar R, Marin L, Sánchez-Zamora MA, García-Novelo JM, Molina Soria C, Parra MA (2009) Long-term effects of N fertilization on cropping and growth of olive trees and on nitrogen accumulation in soil profile. European Journal of Agronomy. 31(4), 223-232.
Geshnizjani N, Khosh-Khui M (2016) Promoted growth and improved quality of Gerbera jamesonni L. flowers using exogenous application of amino acids. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 3(2),155-166.
Ghasemi AA, Izadi H, Masoumifar V (2010) Planting and training almond. Eatk press. 355 p. (In Persian).
Gutiérrez-Gordillo S, García-Tejero IF, García-Escalera A, Galindo P, Arco MDC, Durán Zuazo VH (2019) Approach to yield response of young almond trees to deficit irrigation and biostimulant applications. Horticulturae. 5(2), 38-42.
Hartmann HT, Kester DE, Davies FT (2010) Plant propagation, principles and practices. 8th Ed. Printice-Hall International Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA, pp. 280-344.
Izadi M, Shahsavar AR, Mirsoleimani A (2016) Relation between leaf and stem biochemical constituents and rooting ability of olive cuttings. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 3(2), 231-242.
Kaplan M, Baryla P (2006) The effect of growth regulators on the quality of two year-old apple trees of ‘Sampion’ and ‘Jonica’ cultivars. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum. 5(1), 79-89.
Karimi S, Eshghi S, Karimi S, Hasan-nezhadian S (2017) Inducing salt tolerance in sweet corn by magnetic priming. Acta Agriculturae Slovenica. 109(1), 89-102.
Karimi S, Yadollahi A, Arzani K, Imani A, Aghaalikhani M (2015) Gas-exchange response of almond genotypes to water stress. Photosynthetica. 53(1), 29-34.
Khavari-Nejad RA, Najafi F, Tofighi C (2009) Diverse responses of tomato to N and P deficiency. International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. 11, 209-213.
Lichtenthaler HK (1987) Chlorophyll and carotenoids: pigments of photosynthetic biomembranes. Methods in Enzymology. 148, 350–382.
Mackie-Dawson LA, Millard P, Proe MF (1995) The effect of nitrogen supply on root growth and development in sycamore and Sitka spruce trees. International Journal of Forestry Research. 68(2), 107-114.
Madani H, Khedraei G, Shiranirad A, Mirahmdieraghi H (2009) The effects of urea and sulfur coated urea on sunflower yield components in Arak. New Finding in Agriculture. 4(2), 167-175. (In Persian).
Marschner H (2012) Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. Academic Press, London. pp. 135-190.
Mhango J, Akinnifesi FK, Mng’omba SA, Sileshi G (2008). Effect of growing medium on early growth and survival of Uapaca kirkiana Müell Arg. seedlings in Malawi. African Journal of Biotechnology. 7(13), 2197-2202.
Mirabdolbaghi M, Pishbin M (2011) The effects of nitrogen forms and levels on quality and quantity of peach seedlings in nursery. 7th horticulture congress of Iran. Isfahan University of Technology. 1471-1469.
Mng’omba SA, Akinnifesi FK, Sileshi G Ajayi OC (2010) Rootstock growth and development for increased graft success of mango (Mangifera indica) in the nursery. African Journal of Biotechnology. 9(9), 1317-1324.
Mohammadi M (2017) Effect of Rate and Time of Nitrogen Application on Quantitative and Qualitative Yield of Almond (Prunus dulcis). Iranian Journal of Soil and Water Research. 31(1), 33-45.[In Persian].
Muhammad S, Sanden BL, Lampinen BD, Saa S, Siddiqui, MI, Smart DR, Olivos A, Shackel, KA, DeJong T, Brown PH (2015) Seasonal changes in nutrient content and concentrations in a mature deciduous tree species: Studies in almond (Prunus dulcis). European Journal of Agronomy. 65, 52-68.
Neilsen D, Millard P, Herbert LC, Nelsen GH, Hogue EJ, Parchomchuk P, Zebarth BJ (2001) Remobilization and uptake of N by newly planted apple (Malus domestica) trees in response to irrigation method and timing of N application. Tree Physiology. 21, 513–21.
Norozi M, ValizadehKaji B, Karimi R, Nikoogoftar Sedghi M (2019) Effects of foliar application of potassium and zinc on pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) fruit yield. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 6(1), 113-123.
Nourgholipour F, Bagheri Y, Lotfollahi M (2008) The effects of various nitrogen fertilizers on quality and yield of wheat. Journal of Agricultural Science and Research. 4(2), 120-129. (In Persian).
Oliet JA, Planelles R, Artero F, Valverde R, Jacobs DF, Segura ML (2009) Field performance of Pinus halepensis planted in Mediterranean arid conditions: relative influence of seedling morphology and mineral nutrition. New Forests. 37(3), 313-331.
Prasad R, Power JF (1997) Soil fertility management for sustainable agriculture. CRC Press, Florida. pp. 118-162.
Rahnamoun H (2002) The effects of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium on almond trees. Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization. Bulletin No.706. Tabriz. Jahad-e-Keshavarzi press. 29 pp. (In Persian).
Rajaie M, Motieallah ME (2018) Ameliorative effect of ammonium sulfate on salt tolerance and ion homeostasis in lemon (C. limon) Seedlings. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 5, 111-122.
Ráufi A, Vahdati K, Karimi S Roozban MR (2017) Optimizing Early Grafting of Persian Walnut by Evaluating Different Rootstocks, Covering Materials and Grafting Methods. Journal of Nuts. 8(2), 97-106.
Rui Y, Ruark MD, Andraski TW, Bundy LG (2019) Polymer-coated urea use for corn on irrigated sandy soil. Crops and Soils. 52(5), 4-8.
Rutto DK, Omami E, Ochuodho J, Ngode L (2018) Effect of nitrogen fertilizer on growth, quality and yield of mrenda (Corchorus olitorius) morphotypes in Kenya. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 5(1), 1-10.
Salifu KF, Timmer VR (2003). Nitrogen retranslocation response of young Picea mariana to nitrogen-15 supply. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 67(1), 309-317.
Salisbury FB, Ross CW (1992) Plant physiology. 4th. Edn. Belmont, CA. Wadsworth, pp.23-52.
Semenov MA, Jamieson PD, Martre P (2007) Deconvoluting nitrogen use efficiency in wheat: Asimulation study. European Journal of Agronomy. 26, 283-294.
Shamsodini H, Khezri M Pakkish Z (2016) Effects of foliar application of urea and boric acid on growth characteristics and yield of ‘Poost Kaghazi’ walnut trees (Juglans regia L.). Pomology Research. 1(1), 43-55. (In Persian).
Silspour M, Mollahosseini H (2005) Sustainable production, performance enhancement and quality improvement with optimal fertilizer use in vegetables. Publication of water and soil researches institute. Sana Press, Tehran. pp. 10-11. (In Persian).
Tagliavini M, Abadía J, Rombolà AD, Abadía A, Tsipouridis C. Marangoni B (2000) Agronomic means for the control of iron deficiency chlorosis in deciduous fruit trees. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 23, 2007-2022.
Tyree MC, Seiler JR, Maier CA, Johnsen KH (2009) Pinus taeda clones and soil nutrient availability: effects of soil organic matter incorporation and fertilization on biomass partitioning and leaf physiology. Tree Physiology. 29, 1117-1125.
Villar-Salvador P, Peñuelas JL Jacobs DF (2013) Nitrogen nutrition and drought hardening exert opposite effects on the stress tolerance of Pinus pinea L. seedlings. Tree Physiology. 33(2), 221-232.
Villar-Salvador P, Puértolas J, Cuesta B, Penuelas JL, Uscola M, Heredia-Guerrero N and Benayas JMR (2012). Increase in size and nitrogen concentration enhances seedling survival in Mediterranean plantations. Insights from an ecophysiological conceptual model of plant survival. New Forests. 43(5), 755-770.
Zarata-Valdez JL, Muhammad S, Saa S, Lampinen BD, Brown PH (2015) Light interception, leaf nitrogen and yield prediction in almonds: A case study. European Journal of Agronomy. 66, 1–7.
Zhao D, Reddy KR, Kakani VG, Reddy VR (2005) Nitrogen deficiency effects on plant growth, leaf photosynthesis, and hyperspectral reflectance properties of sorghum. European Journal of Agronomy. 22(4), 391-403.
Zhu XB, Cox RM, Meng FR, Arp PA (2001) Responses of xylem cavitation, freezing injury and shoot dieback to a simulated winter thaw in yellow birch seedlings growing in different nursery culture regimes. Forest Ecology and Management. 145(3), 243-253.