The renovation of Arabica coffee crops located in mountain regions should be based on the use of new improved genotypes and increased plant density, which require the establishment of an adequate pruning system. Little is known about the response of improved genotypes to pruning, therefore this study was done to evaluate the vegetative and reproductive recovery after pruning of genotypes of Arabica coffee cultivated in environment with high plant density, in order to identify how the different patterns of recovery may influence the crop after pruning. The experiment was developed in Espírito Santo state (Brazil), where 16 genotypes of Arabica coffee were cultivated in a randomized block design, with four repetitions (six plants per plot) and pruned after their fourth harvest. The 2-years period after pruning was evaluated to quantify the potential recovery and variability of behavior were found, making it possible to identify groups of genotypes of different behavior regarding the green coffee yield, grain size, growth rate and formation of new vegetative structures. The results show that not all genotypes recovered in the same speed after pruning, being possible to highlight some genotypes with better performance post-pruning. This fact shows the importance of genetic factors; more specifically the recovery, growth and coffee yield after the intervention; should not be ignored when deciding on the best method to renew the plantation. The decision on which cultivar and which pruning method to use should be a rational choice, based on the possible synergy between those technologies.
Key words: Coffea arabica, crop yield, growth, recovery.
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