Carryover Effects of Prohexadione-calcium on Apples

in HortScience

Proheaxadione-calcium (ProCa) was applied to `Spencer' apple trees at rates between 250 to 750 mg·L–1 after harvest but before leaf fall. The following spring terminal growth was reduced linearly from early petal fall through the growing season to leaf fall. ProCa was applied after harvest and before leaf fall at 500 mg·L–1 to `Spigold' apples. The carryover effect on terminal growth persisted for about 2 weeks after bloom. A combination of 500 and 82.5 mg·L–1 ProCa on `Spigold' in the fall and spring, respectively, reduced terminal growth greater than the individual treatments for about 3 weeks after petal fall. Recent report have shown that ProCa can induce physiological resistance to fire blight and apple scab when applied near petal fall. These data support the suggestion that ProCa may be used as a fall application and the carryover effects may result in early growth control. Potential benefits of the carry-over effects of ProCa for early-season suppression of fire blight and apple scab are discussed.

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