297 EFFECTS OF NAA ON FRUIT SIZE OF `DELICIOUS' APPLES

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing. MI 48824

Post-bloom fruit thinning of spur-type `Delicious' with NAA may occasionally result in excessive small fruit (50 - 67 mm) not correlated with crop load. We evaluated the effect of carrier volume and time of application on incidence of small fruit over three growing seasons. A constant dose of NAA (30 g·ha-1) was applied in 230 to 2100 liter·ha-1 at about 10 mm king fruit diameter (KFD). Amount of NAA-induced small fruit differed from year to year, but there was no significant effect of carrier volume in any given year. NAA (15 mg·liter-1) was applied as a dilute spray at 5 to 22 mm KFD. Time of application influenced fruit size distribution at harvest in only one of three years. The incidence of small fruit appeared more closely related to temperature during spray application than to carrier volume or time of application. The effect of NAA on growth rate of king fruit with minimal competition (branches hand thinned, no lateral fruit) was determined over the first month after thinning. There was no pronounced effect of NAA on post-treatment growth rate. In a related study, NAA caused a significant decrease in fruit size when two or more fruit were competing on the same spur, while fruit size in the absence of intra-spur competition was not significantly reduced.

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