Flowering of Apple Trees in the Second Year Is Increased by Firstyear P Fertilization

in HortScience

Application of high rates of P in the year of planting increased the number of flower clusters and fruit set the subsequent year on newly planted `Macspur McIntosh', `Summerland Red McIntosh', `Jonagold', and `Jonamac' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) on dwarfing rootstock (M.26 and M.9) in three separate experiments. The effect occurred whether P was applied at rates of 36 or 48 g P/tree as granular monoammonium phosphate (11 N-23.6 P-0K) uniformly mixed with 100 or 180 liter of soil in the planting hole or at rates of 17.5 and 35 g P applied as soluble ammonium polyphosphate (10N-14.6P-0K) with the irrigation water. A leaf P concentration range between 0.20% and 0.36% was associated with the acceleration of fruiting.

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