Enhancing Branching of Apple Trees in the Nursery with Plant Growth Regulators

in HortScience
Author: Tadeusz Jacyna1
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  • 1 Cornell Univ.–NYSAES, Geneva, NY 14456.

Nursery trees of new, promising apple selections [NY-75334-35 (A), NY-75414-1 (B), and NY-75413-30 (C)] from the Geneva breeding program exhibit a distinct apical dominant growth pattern characterized by poor lateral-shoot formation (feathering). To induce feathering, the trees were foliar-treated singly or sequentially with various concentrations of Promalin (1.8%w/w GA4+7 + 1.8%w/w 6BAP) and Accel (0.18% w/w GA4+7 + 1.8% w/w 6BAP), by themselves and in combination. Regardless of branching agent, concentration, and type of application, treated trees, as compared to the control, on average, induced 11.3 vs. 2.2, 6.6 vs. 0.4, and 6.6 vs. 2.0 feathers/tree for selections A, B, and C, respectively. In most instances, higher concentrations of both chemicals induced more feathers than lower concentrations. Tree height and caliper were less affected than lateral-shoot production.

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