295 The Effect of Cultivar, GA4+7, and Number of Fruit per Spur on Flower Initiation in Apple

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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul MN 55108
  • | 2 Hort Research, Private Bag 1401, Havelock North New Zealand
  • | 3 Department of Horticulture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Experiments were initiated to document the effect of cultivar, GA4+7, and number of fruit/spur on appendage number and flower bud initiation in apple. `Pacific Rose' is strongly biennial, `Braeburn' and `Fuji' are moderately biennial, and `Royal Gala' is not biennial. In the cultivar study, buds were sampled every 18 days starting at 50 days after full bloom and continuing through until leaf fall to determine the rate of appendage formation and appendage number in relation to doming. Because of the tendency for `Pacific Rose' to exhibit biennial bearing, the rate of appendage formation and the timing of doming were compared on nonfruiting trees, trees carrying a commercial crop, and trees sprayed with 300 PPM GA4+7 applied 14 days after full bloom. Number of appendages for the treatments were similar up to 100 days after full bloom. Presence of fruit on a spur has been demonstrated to inhibit flowering of apple. Spurs of `Pacific Rose', `Splendor', and `Royal Gala' were labeled with zero, one, two, and three fruit per spur and sampled three times during the season. As buds were harvested to count appendage number, the number of fruit per spur and the number of total seeds per spur were recorded. Correlation between number of seeds per spur and rate of appendage formation were done.

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