65911 - Fruit Science

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of this teaching is to provide students with the basic knowledge on fruit tree physiology, interaction with the environment, in order to understand fruit tree vegetative and reproductive cycles, techniques for a sustainable management of orchards, fruit biochemical composition, development and physiology, fruit quality . This knowledge will allow the student to set and manage an orchard according to the nutrient and water requirements to obtain a high quality product with the lowest environmental impact

Course contents


Students will learn tree morphology and physiology, phenological stages and interaction between tree and environment


Program description, class organization, suggested books and bibliography, exams and grading method

-Tree description

Canopy and root description: trunk, branches, twigs, shoots, buds, leaves, flowers and fruits. Field practical activity

-Interaction tree:environment

allelopathy, mycorrhiza, plant growth promoting rizhobacteria. Lecture on the topic

-Vegetative and fruit cycle

Endogenous bioregulators. Exogenous biostimulants. Bud differentiation and development. Factors affecting flower bud differentiation. Fruit thinning. Breaking of bud dormancy, hormones implication in bud sprouting. Vegetative gradient, apical dominance, vegetative habitus. Bud dormancy, chilling unit theories. Fruit growth and maturation. Biochemistry of fruit ripening. Ripening index, fruit quality for fresh market and processing. Laboratory practical activity


Soil and climate


Students will learn the physiology and techniques of tree propagation

-Sexual reproduction and tree multiplication.

Seed development. Micro propagation, cutting technique, grafting. Bud genetic mutation. Practical activity in nursery



- soil management

soil grass management, soil tilling, mulching and use of herbicides

-water management

fractions of water in the soil (maximum capacity, field capacity, wilting point). Determination of the time of irrigation and volume of water. Irrigation systems

-nutrient management

Nutrient balance, tree nutrient requirement, soil fertility, tree nutrient uptake kinetics

-tree pruning

tree pruning aims. unbearing and bearing tree pruning. training systems. Orchard visit

-orchard plantation

rootstock and variety, tree density, late frost prevention system, hale storm shelters


General arboriculture - edited by S. Sansavini et al. Patron, Bologna

chapters: 1, 2, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15


Slide of the classes are available on the teacher website of the University of Bologna. However the class presentation are not sufficient to have an adequate preparation. On the other hand the teacher is available to provide International students with appropriate materials


Teaching methods

Teaching is divided in 2 parts: lessons in classroom (60%) and practical activities (40%) in orchards, laboratories and greenhouse. Classes include digital presentations with figures and photos to complete book information. Students are asked to participate to the class actively by explaining their point of view on some topics on environment and economic sustainability, management etc., and commenting professor issues. Regularly the level of understanding will be evaluated by going over the previous topics. Particular attention will be made on the practical activities, taking advantage from the experimental station located few km north of the Campus. Students will be encouraged to participate practically to the field and lab demonstrations.

From this point of view student class attendance is encouraged as the principal part of the educational pathway

Assessment methods

The teaching 65911 ARORICOLTURA is a single class, however it is joined with 8114 ARBORICOLTURA GENERALE part of the teaching AGRONOMIA e ARBORICOLTURA. Consequently the exam will take place at the end of the whole teaching and will deal with all the topics tought in the classes. The exam will be carried out by a-40-minutes oral evaluation (interview) without the use of book or digital support or personal notes. The interview includes at least 3 questions of all course content and is aimed to understand the level of knowledge, critical analysis, and capability to apply the knowledge to practical situations reached by the student.

According to the COVID 19 pandemia evolution and the consequent legislation on social behavior, class can be offered in classroom, online or both, using TEAMS digital platform

To pass the exam with the minimum grade (18/30) student should show a sufficient knowledge of the 3 topics, or a good knowledge of 2 out of 3 questions. The maximum grade (30/30) will be obtained by showing an excellent knowledge of all the topic discussed.

As for the teaching AGRONOMIA e ARBORICOLTURA, the final score will be the average of the 2 single exams, eventually rounded up.

Teaching tools

The class will be run with the help of digital slides (power point or similar). The slides will be made of few words with large size of the letter using a clear font (i.e. 'arial'), to allow dyslexic student to follow the class. Upon agreement, during the reception time, the teacher is available to give exrtra explanation to student with learning difficulties.

During field and lab demonstrations, students will be followed by faculty or staff members at a ratio teacher student of 1:10 approximately.

Office hours

See the website of Moreno Toselli


Quality education Reduced inequalities Responsible consumption and production Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.