The introduction of HDP may well be one of the most important advances in fruit production all over the world. First established in apple orchards in Europe.
In India HDP have been successfully demonstrated in banana, pineapple, papaya and more recently mango.
Advantages of HDP:
1. Efficient land use 2. Reduced labour costs 3. Early cropping and bigger yield for a long time 4. Improved fruit quality with efficient harvesting. In India, where large number of fruit crops are grown, there is a need to develop crop-specific strategies for developing HDP with adequate emphasis on: (i) Availability of suitable sites, land and other physical resource (ii) Selection and identification of dwarf and compact variety of fruits (iii) Selection and identification of suitable dwarfing rootstock (iv) The direction of training and pruning practices to develop ideal tree structure and canopy architecture for efficient use of light, (v) Use of plant growth retardants and mechanical devices.
Characteristics of HDP:
(a) Trees of HDP should have maximum number of fruiting branches and minimum number of structural branches.
(b) Trees are generally trained with a central leader surrounded by nearly horizontal fruiting branches. (c) Pruned occur with canopy adjustment. (d) The height should be according to the harvesting efficiency.
Success of HDP depends upon planting system. Generally rectangular planting with single row (within the row spacing is less), double row (wider spacing after every two rows) and triple row planting are followed. In meadow orchards a bed of 10-15 rows are closely planted and separated by alleys of 2.5 m width between beds.
This system is also called bed system.
Fruit production in India is going through evolutionary phase exemplified by changes in cultivar, root stocks, cultural practices, handling and marketing. These changes are required to constrain in bringing into focus, the HDP to produce easily and sustained production of quality fruits. In developing successful HDP of tropical and sub-tropical fruits, need-based, crop specific strategies are required to be formulated. Latest technical skills in tree architecture and canopy management is required for which adequate manpower should be trained. The development and success of intensive orcharding need to be demonstrated for quicker adoption and practice by fruit growers.