Benzyladenine and Other Chemicals for Thinning `Empire' Apple Trees

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Postbloom applications of benzyladenine (BA) thinned young fruitlets of mature `Empire' apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) as well as or better than NAA or carbaryl (CB). BA increased fruit weight more effectively than either NAA or CB. Promalin (PR) was less effective than BA for both thinning and fruit-weight increase. In 1990, both BA and PR reduced fruit set up to 29 days after full bloom, but PR showed less thinning activity. BA and NAA produced independent and additive thinning responses when tank-mixed. Effects of all thinners on foliar mineral-nutrient concentrations were associated with changes in fruit load. BA increased return bloom as much or more than NAA or CB. PR did not affect return bloom. Chemical names used: N -(phenylmethyl)-1 H -purine-6-amine [benzyladenine (BA)]; BA plus gibberellins A, and A, [Promalin (PR)]; 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA); 1-naphthalenyl methylcarbamate [carbaryl (CB)].

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