Virtual Apple Tree Pruning in Horticultural Education
A computer model of branching responses of apple trees (Malus domestica) with different levels of pruning schemes is presented. The model simulates the number and distributions of the axillary production along one-year-old parent branches using the Hidden Semi-Markov Chain (HSMC). Results show that (a) simulation system efficiently provides the required information at the desired level of accuracy, and (b) the branch growth model is extremely well calibrated against real apple trees and (c) the system can simulate many interesting growth situations with direct feedback from the different levels of pruning schemes presenting the parent branches’ characteristics, such as, location of flower, fruit setting, and so on. The method used in this paper aims at providing a quantitative tool for orchard management in horticultural education, particularly with regard to pruning practices.
KeywordsApple tree (Malus domestica) stochastic process Markov chain heading visualization
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