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Esmaeil Fallahi and Brenda R. Simons

The influence of three rootstocks, various levels of soil-applied nitrogen in fall, and spring spray applications with and without minimum ground nitrogen on tree growth, productivity, leaf and fruit nutrient partitioning, and postharvest quality of fruit at harvest and after storage in `B.C. 2 Fuji' apple was studied over several seasons. Early results showed that trees on M.26 and M.9 were more precocious and had higher yield and yield efficiency. Trees on M.9 had significantly higher leaf Ca and incidence of sunburned fruit than those on other rootstocks. Trees on M.7 had larger fruit and higher leaf N, K, and Cu, but had lower fruit starch degradation pattern (SDP) and leaf Ca. Soluble solids at harvest were lower in fruit from trees on M.26 rootstock. Trees with fall nitrogen application had lower leaf N and better fruit color. Lower quantities of N application had smaller fruit but better fruit color and higher firmness at harvest. Fruit from all rootstocks did not produce ethylene for several days in the ripening chambers. After this period, fruit on M.9 rootstock produced ethylene before those from other rootstocks. Trees established with only nitrogen spray without any ground application had leaf N deficiency after they started bearing fruit. Establishment of a new `Fuji' orchard based on only nitrogen spray produced weak trees with low yield and yield efficiency, while addition of a small quantity of ground-applied N improved tree growth and fruit quality.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, Brenda R. Simons, and Max W. Williams

Effects of hydrogen cyanamide and Wilthin on blossom thinning and the consequences of thinning on fruit set, yield and fruit quality of `Rome Beauty' was studied. A full bloom application of hydrogen cyanamide at the rate of 0.25% (Dormex formulation) or 0.25% of Wilthin both followed by a fruit thinning by Sevin + NAA effectively thinned mature trees of `Rome Beauty' and had a similar effect on fruit set, yield and fruit quality. The effects of these two chemicals at these rates on several aspects of fruit set, yield and quality were similar to the effects of Elgetol. Hydrogen cyanamide, Elgetol and 0.25% Wilthin at full bloom resulted in a higher percentage of single fruit set, thus, less labor for hand thinning. Application of 0.37% Wilthin at 20% bloom or at full bloom resulted in larger fruit size, but induced fruit russetting. Soluble solids of fruit from trees with Elgetol, 0.37% Wilthin at 20% bloom or at full bloom were higher than fruit from other treatments. Hydrogen cyanamide at 0.50% resulted in a satisfactory level of blossom thinning in `Friar' plums.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, S. Krishna Mohan, and Brenda R. Simons

Effects of several growth regulators and mineral nutrient sprays on `Rome Beauty' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) russetting under climatic conditions of southwest Idaho were studied in the 1990 and 1991 growing seasons. Zinc (Zn-50), Calcium as a 12% liquid nutrient (Stopit-6), and fungicide (Polyram) sprays slightly increased, while GA (Provide) decreased fruit russetting.

In 1991, GA and repeated Semperfresh (sucrose ester, carboxymethyl cellulose and mono and diglycerides) applications reduced russetting while Bayleton application increased russetting. Russetting varied from year to year. In 1991, a season of severe fruit russetting, trees which received a fungicide treatment for powdery mildew had generally higher incidence of fruit russetting regardless of treatments. It is believed that interaction between relative humidity, temperature, and systemic sprays used for powdery mildew control contribute to `Rome Beauty' russetting.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, Brenda R. Simons, John K. Fellman, and W. Michael Colt

Influence of various concentrations of hydrogen cyanamide (HC) on fruit thinning of `Rome Beauty' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.), `Friar,' and `Simka' plums (Prunus salicina Lindley) were studied. A full bloom application of HC at all tested concentrations decreased `Rome Beauty' apple fruit set and yield, and increased fruit weight. Hydrogen cyanamide at 0.25% (V/V) resulted in adequate apple thinning, indicated by the production of an ideal fruit weight. Prebloom and full bloom applications of HC at greater than 0.75% reduced plum fruit set and yield in `Friar.' Full bloom application of HC at 0.25% to 0.50% showed a satisfactory fruit set, yield, and fruit size in `Friar' plum. Full bloom application decreased fruit set and yield in `Simka' plum. Hand thinning, as well as chemical thinning, is recommended for plums.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, Brenda R. Simons, John K. Fellman, and W.M. Colt

Influence of different quantity and timing of nitrogen application on various physiological aspects of `Redspur Delicious' apple, including nutritional partitioning, bud initiation, fruit set, yield, fruit quality and nitrate movement in the soil were studied over several growing seasons. Urea at the rates of: 40.2 Kg/ha; 160.8 Kg/ha; 281.3 g/ha; 401.9 Kg/ha; 522.4 K /ha were applied. Each rate of urea was applied: all at full bloom; half at full bloom and half at late spring; or all in fall. In 1993, time of application did not influence yield, fruit weight, color or soluble solids at harvest. Trees that received 401.9 and with 522.4 Kg/ha had higher yield than those with other quantities. Trees with 160.8 and 281.3 Kg/ha had higher yield than trees with 40.2 Kg/ha. Fruit weight in all quantities, except that of 522.4 Kg/ha, were similar. Fruit weight of trees with 522.4 K /ha was reduced. Fruit color was reduced as N quantities increased. Trees with 40.2 Kg/ha N had lower soluble solids than all other quantities. A high level of N increased ethylene and respiration in the fruit. Thus, if the poor color of fruit is due to high nitrogen, a long delay in harvest to improve the color could lead to an over ripe fruit. A preliminary test did not indicate harmful levels of nitrates movement in the soil.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, Brenda R. Simons, John K. Fellman, Mark A. Longstroth, W. Michael Colt, and Delmer O. Ketchie

Twenty-six strains of `Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) were evaluated over several years for growth, yield, and fruit quality at harvest and after 6 months of storage. `August Red', `Rose Red', and `Sharp Red' had larger trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA) 3 and 18 years after planting compared to most other strains. `August Red' and `Starking' had larger TCSA and cumulative yield. `Apex,' `Improved Ryan Spur', `Silverspur', `Starkrimson', and `Wellspur' were also among strains with high cumulative yields and yield efficiencies. `Hardi-Brite Spur' and `Red King Oregon Spur' had moderately high yields and small TCSAs, thus, high yield efficiencies. `Atwood', `Hardispur', `Imperial', `Improved Ryanred', `Starkspur Supreme', and `Topred' had low cumulative yields. `Ace' and `Improved Ryanred' had low yield efficiencies. `Ace', `Imperial', `Red King Oregon Spur', `Rose Red', `Starking', and `Wellspur' had heavier fruit, while fruit weight in `August Red', `Hardispur', and `Starkrimson' was lighter than that in most other strains. `Redspur' and `Starkspur Supreme' had the largest length to diameter (L/D) ratios. `Early Red One' had a similar red skin color rating as `Rose Red.' The red skin color rating of `Early Red One' was significantly higher than that of all other strains. `Hi-Early', `Improved Ryanred', `Redspur', and `Starking' had the poorest skin color ratings. `Hardispur', `Nured Royal', `Silverspur', and `Starkrimson' had high soluble solids concentrations (SSCs) at harvest and after storage. `Early Red One', `Imperial', `Improved Ryan Spur', and `Red King Oregon Spur' had lower SSCs at harvest and after storage. Fruit of `Apex' and `Redspur' had relatively high firmness at harvest, while `Hardispur', `Silverspur', `Starkrimson', and `Starkspur Supreme' had firm fruit at harvest and after storage. `Hardi-Brite Spur' had the softest fruit after storage, and fruit from `Rose Red' had a lower firmness than most other strains at harvest and after storage. Considering cumulative yield, yield efficiency, or some quality parameters, `Apex', `Classic Red', `Improved Ryan Spur', `Red King Oregon Spur', `Silverspur', and `Wellspur' had satisfactory overall performance. Strains are also suggested for planting depending on the market situation and the demand for a particular quality factor. `Hardispur' and `Sturdeespur' (Miller) are not recommended for planting under climatic conditions similar to those of this experiment.