Chemical Blossom Thinining on Prunus in New York

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  • 1 Cornell University, Horticulture, Geneva, NY, 14456

In 2004, we conducted a chemical thinning field study in Appleton, N.Y., on 5-year-old `Rising Star' peach trees on Lovell rootstock. Treatments included soybean oil or petroleum oil applied at 8% about 30 days before budbreak. Ammonium thio-sulfate (ATS) 3.5 gal/acre, ATS 5.0 gal/acre, lime sulfur (1%, 3%) plus Crockers fish oil 2 gal/acre, and Wilthin 6 pt/acre were applied at FB; and the grower standard hand-thinning treatment at 45 DAFB. Trees treated with thinning agents were not given supplemental hand thinning. The high rate of ATS, 5.0 gal/acre and Wilthin 6 pt/acre had the greatest thinning effect and reduced fruit set by 55% and 61%, respectively, compared to the untreated control. The high rate of ATS also increased fruit size 25%, but reduced yield by 45%. Soybean and petroleum oil treatments did not significantly reduce fruit set. Lime sulfur plus fish oil treatments 1% and 3% also did not significantly reduce fruit set. Although a significant reduction in yield was observed in the high rate ATS and Wilthin treatments, a greater proportion of the crop was in the larger size categories. In 2005, treatments included soybean oil 8% plus Latron B 1956 applied 18 days and 25 days before FB, Lime sulfur (2%, 4%) plus Crockers fish oil (2%) applied at FB, Ammonium thio-sulfate (ATS) 3.5%, 5.0%, Wilthin 1.9, 2.8 L (Entek, Inc.), plus Regulaid 473 mL per 935 L/ha applied at FB, Entry 1.5, 3.0%, Tergitol TMN-6 0.75, 1.5%, hand-thin flowers to a crop load of seven fruits per cm2 at FB and hand-thin fruit to 7 fruits per cm2 applied 45 days after FB.

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