The aim of the study was to determine the influence of various methods of orchard floor management on extractable mactronutrients concentration in plum leaves and orchard soil. Study carried out between 2013 and 2015. Standard mineral fertilization on experimental plots was applied. Trees of ‘Valjevka’ plum (Prunus domestica L.), grafted onto Myrobalan seedlings (Prunus cerasifera Ehrh. var. divaricata Ledeb.), were planted in the spring of 2008. From 2009 to 2015, the following methods of soil cultivation under tree canopies were introduced: control with limited weeding around tree trunks; spraying with foliar herbicides; mulching with organic waste, i.e. straw with compost; mechanical soil cultivation with the use of rotary cultivators and hoe; weed mowing. The method of soil cultivation had influence on leaf concentration of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium, as well as soil concentration content of phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium in particular years of the study or as three-year mean. Orchard floor management did not affect leaf nitrogen concentration in any way. The results showed that regular weed control in the evaluated type of orchard is not necessary for properly supplying plum trees with macronutrients.


Prunus domestica L.; plant nutrition; soil maintenance; weeds

Bielińska, E.J., Głowacka, A. (2004). The mineral nitrogen content in the soil of an apple orchard in relation to the soil treatment applied. Acta Sci. Pol., Hortorum Cultus, 3, 131–145 (in Polish with English summary).
Domagała-Świątkiewicz, I. (2005). Application of extraction with 0.03 M CH3COOH as the universal method in orchard soil analysis. Folia Hort., 17, 129–140.
Granatstein, D., Andrews, P., Groff, A. (2014). Productivity, economics, and fruit and soil quality of weed management systems in commercial organic orchards in Washington State, USA. Org. Agric., 4, 197–207.
Hoagland, L., Carpenter-Boggs, L., Granatstein, D., Mazzola, M., Smith, J., Peryea, F., Regonald, J.P. (2008). Orchard floor management effects on nitrogen fertility and soil biological activity in a newly established organic orchard. Biol. Fertil. Soils, 45, 11–18.
IUSS Working Group Wrb. (2015). World reference base for soil resources 2014, update 2015 International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resources Reports No. 106.
Jadczuk, E. (1990). Transport of mineral elements from grassed alleyways to herbicide strips as a result of grass mowing. Acta Hortic., 274, 201–206.
Kłossowski, W. (1972). Nawożenie roślin sadowniczych [Nutrition of fruit crops]. PWRiL, Warszawa, Poland (in Polish).
Komosa, A., Szewczuk A. (2002). Effect of soil potassium level and different potassium fertilizer forms on nutritional status, growth and yield of apple trees in the first three years after planting. J. Fruit Ornam. Plant Res., 10, 41–54.
Leece, D.R. (1975). Diagnostic leaf analysis for stone fruit. 4. Plum. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. Anim. Husb., 15, 112–117.
Lipecki, J., Berbeć, S. (1997). Soil management in perennial crops: orchard and hop gardens. Soil Till. Res., 43, 169–184.
Lipecki, J., Janisz, A., Sienkiewicz, P. (2004). Mulching and nitrogen fertilization in a prune orchard. J. Fruit Ornam. Plant Res., 12, 133–138.
Lisek, J., Buler, Z. (2018). Growth and yield of plum trees in response to in-row orchard floor management. Turk. J. Agric. For., 42, 97–102.
Marsh, K., Daly, M., McCarthy, T. (1996). The effect of understory management on soil fertility, tree nutrition, fruit production and apple fruit quality. Biol. Agric. Hort., 13, 161–173.
Merwin, I.A., Stiles, W.C. (1994). Orchard ground cover management impacts on apple tree growth and yield, and nutrient availability and uptake. J. Am. Soc. Hortic. Sci., 119, 209–215.
Merwin, I.A. (2004). Groundcover management effects on orchard production, nutrition, soil and water quality. New York Fruit Quart., 12, 25–29.
Mestre, L., Reig, G., Betrán, J.A., Moreno, M.A. (2017). Influence of plum rootstocks on agronomic performance, leaf mineral nutrition and fruit quality of ‘Catherina’ peach cultivar in heavy-calcareous soil conditions. Span. J. Agric. Res., 15, e0901.
Milošević, T., Milošević, N. (2016). Estimation of nutrient status in pear using leaf mineral composition and deviation from optimum percentage index. Acta Sci. Pol., Hortorum Cultus, 15, 45–55.
Milošević, T., Milošević, N., Glišić, I. (2012). Vegetative growth, fruit weight, yield and leaf mineral content of plum grown on acidic soil. J. Plant Nutr., 35, 770–783.
Milošević, T., Milošević, N., Glišić, I. (2013). Agronomic properties and nutritional status of plum trees (Prunus domestica L.) influenced by different cultivars. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr., 13, 706–714.
Montañés, L., Heras, L., Abadía, J., Sanz, M. (1993). Plant analysis interpretation based on a new index: deviation from optimum percentage (DOP). J. Plant Nutr., 16, 1289–1308.
Neilsen, G.H., Hogue, E.J. (1985). Effect of orchard floor management on the growth and leaf nutrient concentration of young dwarf Red Delicious apple trees. Can. J. Soil Sci., 65, 309–315.
Neilsen, G.H., Hogue, E.J. (1992). Long-term effects of orchard floor management on tree vigor and extractable soil nutrients. Can. J. Soil Sci., 72, 617–621.
Neilsen, G.H., Hogue, E.J., Forge, T., Neilsen, D. (2003). Mulches and biosolids affect vigor, yield and leaf nutrition of fertigated high density apple. HortScience, 38, 41–45.
Olszewski, T., Mika, A. (1986). Planting density effect on mineral composition of leaves and fruit of ‘Macspur’ apples. Acta Hortic., 160, 259–260.
Olszewski, T., Mika, A., Szczepański, K., Piątkowski, M. (1995). Influence of orchard cultural practices on mineral composition of apple leaves and fruit. V. Influence of rootstock, planting density and fertilizing level on leaf mineral content in irrigated orchard. J. Fruit Ornam. Plant Res., 3, 165–175.
Peterson, A.B., Stevens, R.G. (1994). Tree fruit nutrition: a comprehensive manual of deciduous tree fruit nutrient needs. Good Fruit Grower Publ., Yakima, WA.
Robbins, S.H., Righetti, T.L., Fallahi, E., Dixon, A.R., Chaplin, M.H. (1986). Influence of trenching, soil amendments, and mulching on the mineral content, growth, yield and quality of “Italian” prunes. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal., 17, 467–471.
Rutkowski, K., Zydlik, Z., Stachowiak, A. (2018). Effect of tree pruning intensity on the content of mineral components in the sour cherry leaves of ‘Łutówka’. Folia Hortic., 30, 47–55.
Sadowski, A., Lenz. F., Engel, G., Kępka, M. (1995). Effect of fruit load on leaf nutrient content of apple trees. Acta Hortic., 383, 67–71.
Sadowski, A., Nurzyński, J., Pacholak, E., Smolarz, K. (1990). Określenie potrzeb nawożenia roślin sadowniczych. II. Zasady, liczby graniczne i dawki nawożenia. [Determination of the need for fertilization of fruit plants. II. Principles, compositional standards and doses of fertilization]. SGGW Press, Warszawa (in Polish).
Sánchez-Alonso, F., Lachica, M (1987.) Seasonal trends in the elemental content of plum leaves. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal., 18, 31–43.
Sas-Paszt, L., Pruski, K., Żurawicz, E., Sumorok, B., Derkowska, E., Głuszek, S. (2014). The effect of organic mulches and mycorrhizal substrate on growth, field and quality of Gold Milenium apple on M. 9 rootstock. Can. J. Plant Sci., 94, 281–289.
Shepard, F.P. (1954). Nomenclature based on sand-silt-clay ratios. J. Sediment. Petrol., 24, 151–158.
Singh-Sidhu, L,, Kaundal, S.G. (2005). Effect of planting density on fruit yield, foliar nutrient content and root distribution of plum (Prunus salicina Lindl.). Acta Hortic., 696, 299–302.
Sosna, I. (2010.) Effect of pruning time on growth, blooming and content of chemical constituents in leaves of four early ripening plum cultivars. J. Fruit Ornam. Plant Res., 18, 151–160.
Stefanelli, D., Zoppolo, R.J., Perry, R.L., Weibel, F. (2009) Organic orchard floor management systems for apple effect on rootstock performance in the Midwestern United States. HortScience, 44, 263–267.
Szwedo, J., Maszczyk, M. (2000). Effects of straw-mulching of tree rows an some soil characteristics, mineral nutrient uptake and cropping of sour cherry trees. J. Fruit Ornam. Plant Res., 8, 147–153.
Tagliavini, M., Scudellari, D., Marangoni, B., Bastianel, A., Franzin, F., Zamborlini, M. (1992). Leaf mineral composition of apple tree: sampling date and effects of cultivar and rootstock. J. Plant Nutr., 15, 605–619.
Treder, W., Olszewski, T. (2004). Estimation of the effect of fertilisation method on nitrogen content in leaves of apple tree. Acta Sci. Pol., Hortorum Cultus, 3, 111–122 (in Polish with English summary).
Yao, S., Merwin, I.A., Bird, G.W., Abawi, G.S., Thies, J.E. (2005). Orchard floor management practices that maintain vegetative or biomass groundcover stimulate soil microbial activity and alter soil microbial community composition. Plant Soil, 271, 377–389.
Zoppolo, R.J., Stefanelli, D., Bird, G.W., Perry, R.L. (2011). Soil properties under different orchard floor management systems for organic apple production. Org. Agric., 1, 231–246.
Zydlik, Z., Pacholak, E., Styła, K. (2011). Effect exerted on soil properties by apple-tree cultivation for many years and by replantation. Part II. Content of mineral components in soil and leaves. Acta Sci. Pol., Hortorum Cultus, 10, 123–130.

Published : 2021-08-31

Lisek, J., & Stępień, T. (2021). MACROELEMENTS CONCENTRATION IN PLUM TREE LEAVES AND SOIL IN RESPONSE TO ORCHARD FLOOR MANAGEMENT. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum Hortorum Cultus, 20(4), 115-124.

Jerzy Lisek
Research Institute of Horticulture, Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3, 96-100 Skierniewice, Poland  Poland
Teresa Stępień 
Research Institute of Horticulture, Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3, 96-100 Skierniewice, Poland  Poland

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Articles are made available under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International (recognition by authorship, non-commercial use, no dependent works).
Submission of the paper implies that it has not been published previously, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

The author signs a statement of the originality of the work, the contribution of individuals, and source of funding.