Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 62 items for

  • Author or Editor: Duane Greene x
Clear All Modify Search
Free access

Duane W. Greene

Prohexadione–calcium (ProCa) is used routinely in orchards to control vegetative growth and to reduce the shoot blight phase of fire blight. This communication reports on multiple-year applications of ProCa with special emphasis on treatment effects on fruit set, fruit size, and return bloom. Increased fruit set was confirmed from high rates of ProCa above 125 mg·L−1. The increase in fruit set was attributed primarily to a reduction of abscission during June drop rather than an increase in initial set. ProCa decreased fruit weight in some instances. Part of this reduction could be attributed to increased fruit set. However, the large reduction in fruit weight at harvest could only be explained by a direct effect of ProCa when used at high rates. When ProCa was applied as a concentrate spray at 250 mg·L−1, terminal growth was reduced comparable to the application made as a tree row volume dilute spray (1×). However, fruit set was increased when the spray volume in which ProCa was delivered was reduced to 4×. A range of ProCa rates was used on ‘Mutsu’. An initial application rate of 42 mg·L−1 followed by similar subsequent rates controlled growth comparably to higher initial and total rates, yet low rates had no effect on fruit weight or return bloom. Low rates of ProCa appear to be effective at controlling vegetative growth yet appear to have minimal side effects. High rates, especially those intended to reduce fire blight, come with the risk of increased fruit set and reduced fruit size and return bloom.

Free access

Duane W. Greene

Over 225 apple cultivars grown at the Horticultural Research Center in Belchertown have been evaluated for fruit quality and fruit characteristics. Methods used to determine fruit characteristics and organoleptic assessment will be presented. The postharvest potential of the most promising apples will be presented. Two apples ripen about the first of September and show promise for early market. `Sansa' is a medium-sized red apple that ripens about the first of September. It is a high-quality apple with characteristics similar to `Gala'. `Ginger Gold' is a large, firm, mild-flavored, russet-free, yellow apple. `Honeycrisp' is a red apple that ripens in mid-September, before `McIntosh'. It is a large, mild-flavored apple that is sometimes erratic in red color development. It maintains firmness and explosive crispness out of storage better than any other apple evaluated. `Golden Supreme' is an extremely attractive, russet-free `Golden Delicious' type ripening 7 to 10 days before `Golden Delicious'. When ripe it has a very aromatic, fruity flavor. It stores better than `Golden Delicious'. Other apples with merit that have commercial potential include: `Hampshire', `Shizuka', `Cameo', `Creston', `Coop 25', `Coop 29', and `Braeburn'. `Pink Lady' is a very late maturing, new cultivar that is being heavily planted in other areas. Although it does mature here, based upon starch rating, fruit size is small, the flesh is dry and very tart, and taste is only fair.

Free access

Duane W. Greene

BAS-125 10W is a new plant growth retardant that was evaluated on `McIntosh' apples to control excessive vegetative growth. When applied at concentrations between 0 and 375 ppm, it significantly reduced terminal growth. As a result, light penetration into the tree was increased and fruit at harvest had more red color, and more were graded into the US Extra Fancy category. BAS-125 increased fruit set; thus, fruit were smaller, but firmer, at harvest. Treated fruit were firmer and had less decay following 20 weeks of regular air storage. Several different thinning strategies were employed to thin BAS-125-treated `Delicious' trees. In one experiment, the best thinning treatment was a combination spray containing 10 ppm NAA plus carbaryl at petal fall followed by 8 ppm NAA when fruit size averaged 10 mm. The best treatment in another experiment was a Wilthin application at 80% bloom followed by 8 ppm NAA plus carbaryl at petal fall. Recommendations for the successful use of BAS-125 10W in the Northeast will be discussed.

Full access

Duane W. Greene

Regulation of biennial bearing in pome fruit is usually accomplished by chemically removing fruit during the “on” cycle. The advantages and disadvantages of regulating biennial bearing by inhibiting flowering in the “off” cycle were discussed. Gibberellins and the two phenyl urea cytokinin-like compounds, thidiazuron and CPPU have been shown to inhibit flowering in pome fruit. It was concluded that inhibition of flowering with commercially available gibberellins was not a commercially acceptable approach to regulate biennial bearing. The inhibition of flowering was erratic, fruit thinning and increased fruit set could not be predicted, and seed abortion following gibberellin application could predispose fruit to reduced postharvest life because of reduced calcium uptake. Regulation of flowering by inhibiting flower bud formation appeared to be a viable way to regulate cropping on nonbearing tress or trees that were not carrying a crop.

Full access

Duane W. Greene

Full access

Duane W. Greene

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) play an important commercial role in horticulture. Although often expensive, they are generally used on high value crops where the costs can be retrieved through the increased value their usage creates in a given crop. The impetus for development of new PGRs is generally initiated by the agrochemical industry where they perceive a need that has a profit potential, whereas the motivation for the development of a PGR by researchers is largely to aid the industry they serve. University and government researchers initially follow a prescribed protocol early in the development process, but once they have gained personal experience with a PGR, further research is often guided by personal observations and keen technical insight. During the development and evaluation process, university and government researchers are optimistic, and negative effects are generally viewed as challenges, that can and will be overcome. Discussion and effective communication are critical components in the overall development of a new PGR. Researchers generally exchange information very freely, unless restricted from doing so by a nondisclosure or other contract agreement. The underlying goal for university and government researchers is to get approval of a new PGR product and/or use that will allow growers to produce a high quality product for consumers with an improved profit margin for growers. Development of new PGRs is undergoing major change that unfortunately will lead to the development and registration of fewer compounds. There are not as many agrochemical companies, there are a decreasing number of university and government researchers, and diminishing funds available to support the development of new PGRs.

Free access

Duane W. Greene

GA4+7 and GA4 substantially reduced russeting of `Golden Delicious' in four different years. There were indications that GA4 was more effective than GA4+7 at reducing russeting. The influence of gibberellins on flowering was variable and not always related to crop load. GA4 increased flowering in one experiment, had no influence in two experiments, and inhibited flowering in two experiments. GA7 either inhibited flowering or had no effect. There were indications that GA4 may partially reverse the inhibitory effect of GA7 on flowering in some instances.

Free access

Duane W. Greene

The trend toward planting high density apple orchards continues. Closer tree spacing requires a greater degree of growth control to reduce shading and to prevent the decline in fruit quality and productivity as the planting become older. Chemical, rootstock, pruning, and management techniques will be reviewed that may control growth directly by reducing vegetative growth or indirectly through effects on increasing flower bud formation and fruit set. Pruning and management techniques will be discussed that can selectively reduce vigor in the tops of trees while allowing growth of the less vigorous lower portion of a trees to continue.

Free access

Duane W. Greene

YI-1066 is a new blossom thinner that may be useful as an alternative to the presently-used chemical thinners. It was applied as a dilute spray to `Royal Gala' apples at either 475 or 950 ml/379 liters when about 80% of the flowers were open. Browning of flowers and leaves was noted within 1 hour of application. The 950 ml/liter rate reduced fruit set. One YI-1066 treatment was applied at the 475 ml/379 liters rate, and rain started within 10 minutes after the completion of the spray. Although flower browning was noted, fruit set on these trees was increased above that on control trees. The recommended commercial thinning combination, 3 ppm NAA and 600 ppm carbaryl, did not thin. YI-1066 at 950 ml/379 liters caused a significant amount of thinning but it also reduced seed number and increased the number of fruit with solid russet at harvest.

Free access

Duane W. Greene

Prohexadione-calcium (ProCa) has emerged as one of the most important management tools that an orchardist has available to control vegetative growth and to reduce the incidence and severity of fire blight. It has also been implicated in increased fruit set on treated apple trees. This investigation was initiated to confirm the effects of ProCa on fruit set and to evaluate different thinning strategies that might be used to appropriately thin treated trees. ProCa increased fruit set when applied at petal fall at initial rates of 125 or 250 mg·L−1 in three of the four experiments described in this article. Thinners were applied before, at the time of, and after application of ProCa. In all experiments, chemical thinners did not reduce fruit set to the same crop load level on ProCa-treated trees as they did on untreated trees. It was concluded that a different and more aggressive chemical thinning strategy must be used on trees that were treated with ProCa. Fruit size was reduced on ProCa-treated trees. This reduction was usually, but not always, related to increased fruit set. ProCa increased the number of pygmy fruit on ‘Delicious’ apple trees.