EFFECT OF HYDROGEN CYANAMIDE (DORMEX) SPRAYS ON PEACH TREES SUFFERING FROM LACK OF WINTER CHILLING.

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849

Lack of winter chilling (480 hrs. at or below 7.2°C by 02/28/89) occurred along Alabama's Gulf Coast in the winter of 1988-89. Varieties requiring 650 hours of chilling or more were under stress. To evaluate hydrogen cyanamide (HC), a product used world wide to replace part of some fruit plants chilling req., a study was conducted along the Gulf Coast using Bicentennial (700 hr.), Sentinel (850 hr.) and Loring (900 hr.) peach varieties. Full tree sprays (applied to drip with handgun) using 0, .5 and 1% a.i. plus .25% × 77 were applied 03/01/89. Fruit buds were dormant to slight swell when sprayed. HC greatly enhanced rate and % of leaf bud break at the 1% conc., for all varieties. Rate and % of flowering were significantly increased at 1% conc. in Loring and Sentinel but nearly all fruit dropped. Flowering, yield and fruit size of Bicentennial-were significantly improved at .5 and 1% conc. HC was effective in replacing lack of chilling in this variety.

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