Washington State University HomeWSU AdmissionsWSU CampusesWSU HomeWSU Search Toolsedge graphic

 

TFREC Home

Soils and Plant Nutrition Home

Soil Properties

Tree Fruit Nutrition

                         

  Essential Nutrients

 

Calcium (Ca)

Form used by plants:

Ca2+

Important functions:

  • Important in cell wall and membrane construction

  • Regulates nutrient uptake by roots and movement in plant

  • Necessary for development of firm fruit

Ideal foliage range for apple leaves:

1.2-1.6%  (However, do not rely on leaf analysis to identify Ca deficiency).  Vegetative growth out competes fruit for available Ca.

Top of page

Ideal fruit concentration:

0.01-0.03% of dry weight (fruit flesh)

Ideal soil range:

600-4000 ppm

Calcium is strongly sorbed by soil components and thus not mobile.

Best indicators: 

Fruit analysis- observe fruit for bitter pit (see photo below) or cork spot. May see premature shedding of blossoms and buds.

Mobility in plant:

Not remobilized within plant

Deficiency symptoms: bitterPit copy.JPG (10461 bytes) 

Fruits have a low ability to attract Ca and instead it is utilized by growing shoots and leaves.

Fruit symptoms: bitter pit (see photo), cork spot, senescent breakdown, watercore.  Maturity will be hastened (if not monitored, may lead to significant drop and poor storageability).

Top of page

Increased risk of Ca deficiencies on:

  • Overfertilized plots (excess Mg or K in soil makes it more difficult for roots to take up Ca; too much N stimulates vegetative growth which will take Ca away from fruit)

  • Excessively pruned plots (due to stimulation of vegetation)

  • Areas with B deficiencies because this may reduce calcium movement

  • Excessively large fruit should be avoided

  • Water-stressed areas or areas subject to wide fluctuations in moisture supply

Excess problems/Interactions with other elements:

*see increased risk section above

Top of page

Last updated: 14 February, 2001

 

Washington State University - Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center
1100 N. Western Ave. * Wenatchee WA 98801
phone: 509-663-8181 * fax: 509-662-8714                                                                                                                                                                                     

Copyright Washington State University Disclaimer
WSU Electronic Publishing and Appropriate Use Policy

Pages maintained by
Jennifer Moore
Web problems to the
Webservant (Jerry Tangren)