661 Encouraging Flowering and Cropping in Slow-to-bear Tree Fruit with Bioregulators

in HortScience
Author: D.C. Elfving1
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  • 1 WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee, WA 98801

Some cultivars of deciduous tree fruit, especially in apple and pear, tend to come into bearing slowly. Bioregulators have been used to stimulate flowering and cropping in slow-to-crop cultivars, but success has been variable. Improved flowering may not necessarily lead to increased cropping. Reduction in vegetative vigor as a result of bioregulator treatment is often, but not always, associated with increased flowering. Bioregulators that act by interfering with gibberellin biosynthesis or that generate ethylene in plant tissues have proven effective for increasing flowering under a variety of conditions. Few studies have demonstrated that exogenous bioregulator applications to poorly cropping fruit trees can be used to produce sustained and economically significant improvement in fruiting while maintaining satisfactory fruit quality.

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