‘Delicious’, ‘Golden Delicious’, and ‘Stayman’ apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) were summer pruned in late June or mid-August. Fruit were smaller on June- or August-pruned ‘Stayman’ trees than on comparable dormant-pruned control trees. Summer pruning had little effect on the size of ‘Delicious’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ fruit. Soluble solids were suppressed within 2 weeks after summer pruning on all cultivars, but fruit firmness was unaffected. Summer pruning slowed the rate of starch disappearance from fruit flesh. Preharvest drop, severity of watercore, and bitter bit were suppressed by summer pruning. Calcium concentration of fruit flesh was not significantly increased by summer pruning. Yield, expressed as total fruit weight or number of fruit per tree, was not consistently influenced by summer pruning over a 2-year period.
Received for publication, June 27, 1981.
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Former Graduate Research Assistant (Presently Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture and Forestry, Rutgers University, Cook College, New Brunswick, NJ 08903) and Associate Professor, respectively.