Department of Horticultural Science
The main focus of research is on the growth and reproductive development of fruit trees and fynbos, fruit and flower quality, postharvest physiology and the use of technology. The underlying physiological mechanisms of winter dormancy and bud break, tree training and pruning, fruit set and thinning, and fruit development and quality are explained and practical techniques for enhancing yield of high-quality fruit and flowers are tested in the orchard.
Postharvest research focuses on the investigation of fruit and flower handling protocols, cooling and storage conditions for the optimisation of the shelf life and quality, as well as the underlying physiology of cell walls and membranes.
All research conducted by the Department is aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the economically important fruit and fynbos industries of South Africa in view of the overseas markets.