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  • Author or Editor: L.D. Combs x
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Combinations of aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG, ReTain) and NAA gave better control of fruit drop of `Golden Delicious' than either alone. When the full rate of ReTain (50 g/A) was compared to a reduced rate of ReTain (86 g/ha) plus NAA, equivalent control of fruit drop of `Golden Delicious' resulted. ReTain delayed softening and starch depletion of `Golden Delicious' fruit. NAA in some cases promoted earlier fruit maturity; but when used in combination with ReTain, maturity was similar to ReTain-treated fruit. Fruit with the highest firmness and starch came out of cold storage in the best condition. Neither 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP, EthylBloc) or NAA inhibited fruit drop of `Golden Delicious' fruit when applied at harvest; but previous ReTain and NAA data indicate that late applications are frequently much less effective than if applied 4 weeks before harvest. Ethephon spray treatments caused more rapid and extensive fruit drop than the control. Trees gassed or sprayed with EthylBloc before ethephon sprays also dropped rapidly. `Golden Delicious' fruit on the tree were dramatically maintained firmer by the EthylBloc gas, and to a lesser extent by EthylBloc sprays by 19.1 N and 10.2 N firmness, respectively, tested on 28 Oct. Starch was maintained by the EthylBloc gas, but not by the sprays. These data indicated that EthylBloc applied as a gas or spray did have a physiological affect but did not control fruit drop. Fruit diameter, soluble solids and color did not appear to be affected. Further study of earlier applications of EthylBloc or combinations with fruit drop control agents may be needed to get fruit drop control. NAA plus Silwet L-77 inhibited fruit drop of `Law Rome', but none of the EthylBloc sprays inhibited fruit drop when applied at harvest. Previous data with ReTain and NAA indicated that late applications are frequently much less effective than if applied 4 weeks before harvest. EthylBloc sprays applied 21 Oct. dramatically maintained fruit firmness tested on 3 Nov. Starch was not maintained by the EthylBloc gas, but starch had almost disappeared by the application time on 21 Oct. Fruit diameter, soluble solids, and color did not appear to be affected. Further study of earlier applications of EthylBloc may be needed to demonstrate fruit drop control. Shading trees with 92% polypropylene shade material for 3 or 7 days caused more rapid fruit abscission at 7 days than 3 days and both were greater than the control.

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`Fuji'/MM.111, `Pink Lady'/M.7A, and `Summerfield'/M.7A apple trees were planted in several types of individual root restrictive bags in the field in 1995. Bags were made of Knit and Woven fabrics, Galvanize hardware cloth (6.4 cm) with various holes sizes and of different bag volumes. The bags confined the development of large roots to within the bag. Roots that penetrated the bag resulted in root branching and large root inhibition. As the roots enlarged, roots penetrating the bags were restricted in diameter by the fabric hole size. Roots enlarged to some degree on both sides of the fabric holes but were not killed by girdling within the first few years. Root restriction bags decreased trunk caliper, shoot growth, pruning weights, number of cuts per tree, increased flowering, fruit numbers, and weight per tree. Fruit firmness, soluble solids and color was increased and starch was lower than the nonbagged controls. In cage and tank trials pine and/or meadow voles easily penetrated all of the fabric and polypropylene bags within 24 h, except for the galvanized hardware cloth (6.4 cm). Susceptibility of each material to vole damage was tested by placement of an apple inside a small bag of each. Root restriction bags seemed to be a viable alternative to dwarfing rootstocks for control of tree size, early flowering, and early fruiting.

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Prohexadione calcium applied as a series of three applications starting soon after petal fall to `Fuji'/M.9 apple trees reduced the number of pruning cuts, pruning time, pruning weight per tree, current season's shoot length, individual shoot weights, and increased number of nodes on the lower 40 cm of shoots. Fruit diameter, soluble solids, starch, or individual fruit weights were not affected by Apogee sprays. Fruit color and firmness were slightly increased in only one experiment. Growth suppression appeared to be greater on trees cropping more heavily. When trees were more heavily thinned, less shoot growth control was achieved. Apogee applied at 250 mg/L in three applications caused a significant increase in fruit set when compared to the control. Alone Vydate, Carbaryl+Oil, or Carbary+Accel+Oil caused fruit thinning, but neither ethephon nor shading 3 days caused significant thinning. Apogee did not influence results of chemical thinners when applied between the first and second Apogee applications. The 10% and the 27.5% Apogee formulations gave similar shoot growth inhibition when applied with Regulaid or Oil+Silwet L-77. When using hard water (well water), the 27.5% Apogee formulation was not as effective as the 10% formulation. The 10% Apogee formulation has more NH4SO4 than the 27.5% formulation w/w; NH4SO4 is used to prevent inactivation of Apogee by calcium and other cations when hard water is used for spraying. The addition of CaCl (frequently used to reduce bitter pit and corkspot disorders) to the 27.5% Apogee formulation caused poorer growth control than with hard water alone. When Apogee was used at 125 mg/L, the addition of NH4SO4 restored the effectiveness of the hard water+CaCl mixture. Alone the additives NH4SO4, Ca Cl, Regulaid, and/or Oil plus L-77, had no effect on tree growth. Apogee plus L-77+Oil provided additional growth suppression when compared to Apogee+Regulaid. In 1998, three applications of Apogee (63 mg/L) or ethephon (135 mg/L) did not affected shoot growth of `Fuji'/M.9 trees at these low rates. Combinations of Apogee and ethephon gave good control of tree growth. Flowering and fruit set were not promoted by any of these applications.

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Effectiveness of pollination/fertilization inhibitors for flower thinning depends highly on the precise timing of sprays within 24 to 36 h after flower opening. In 1999, cool weather delayed the application of hormone-type thinners, which were intended for at bloom comparison with pollination/fertilization. Pollination inhibitors applied in bloom and hormone thinners applied at petal fall or 8 mm fruit diameter caused good fruit thinning. Ethephon applied in bloom did not cause thinning of `Empire' fruit, but Sevin + Accel + Oil caused good fruit thinning when applied in bloom. Sevin + Accel + Oil increase fruit diameter and did not affect fruit russet. Ethephon applied at 22 mm fruit diameter at water rates of 935 L/ha or 3741 L/ha and chemical rates of 21.5 L/ha or 42.9 L/ha did not cause significant fruit thinning. In 1998, pollination inhibitors and hormone-type growth regulators caused flower and fruit thinning of `Starkrimson'/MM111/106 trees. Good thinning occurred with both pollination inhibitors and ethephon treatments; but Sevin + Accel + oil was not as effective. Thinex caused the most side russet. Treatments that thinned generally caused increased fruit diameter. In 1999, return bloom was promoted by early thinning, but ethephon did not appear to promote return bloom beyond the thinning effect. In 1998, endothall caused good thinning of `York'/MM.111 with a minimum of foliage injury. Fruit diameter was increased. Thinning with endothall in 1998 greatly increased return bloom in 1999, but trees were slightly over thinned. Fruit injury caused by carbaryl was almost non-existant in 1999 in two tests having over 25 carbaryl treatments that compared different formulations and adjuvants for thinning and injury. Some very slight, non-significant injury, may have occurred with three of nine formulations tested when trees were shaded. Shading trees for 1 day in conjunction with carbaryl sprays also did not promote injury. In a previous year, shading trees promoted carbaryl injury. A tank mix of Oil with either 50WP, 80WP, XLR, or 4L formulations caused 3 to 8% of the fruit to show injury at a very low intensity. However, in an adjoining block, Sevin + Accel + Regulaid caused injury to >50% of the fruit when applied the same day as the other experiments. Further investigations on this problem are in progress.

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Heavily cropping `York'/M.27 trees sprayed with seven multiple low doses of ethephon (135 mg/L each) did not cause greater return bloom in 1999 unless foliar fertilizers (either 18–18–18 or Ca N03) were added to the ethephon sprays. Foliar fertilizer sprays alone did not promote return bloom. `York'/M.7 trees selected for very little bloom in 1997 (“off year” of the biennial bearing cycle) and sprayed with 160 mg/L GA3 or 320 mg/L GA3 had significantly less return bloom in the 1998 (“on year”) (61% and 46% spurs flowering, respectively, compared to control trees that had 99% of spurs flowering). Trees sprayed in 1997 (“off year”) with GA3 return bloom and cropped in 1999; but trees in the “off year” in 1997 that were not sprayed with GA3, did not crop in 1999. Sprays of GA3 provided some control of alternate bearing of `York'/M.7 trees when applied in the “off year” of the biennial bearing cycle. Leaves taken from `Braeburn'/M.27 trees in 70 °F rooms evolved ethylene through out the 12 days of the test. A moderate ethylene peak occurred on about days 5 and 6. Leaves from trees in the 40 °F room did not evolve detectable ethylene levels until trees were put in another 70 °F room on day 6. Ethylene levels were about the same from day 6 through day 12 for all treated trees at 70 °F. Nontreated control trees in rooms at 40 or 70 °F did not produce detectable ethylene levels during the experiment (except for a very small amount detected only on day 2 from leaves seal for 24 h at 70 °F.

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Technical grade prohexadione-calcium (93.2% a.i. P-Ca) applied to `Fuji'/M.9 trees in three applications in deionized water reduced shoot growth by 25%, but the addition of (NH4)2SO4 to P-Ca suppressed shoot growth by 47%. If P-Ca was mixed in well water (high in calcium salts), P-Ca did not suppress shoot growth at all. The commercially formulated prohexadione-calcium [Apogee: 27.5% P-Ca + 56.1% (NH4)2SO4 + 16.4% other proprietary additives] + Regulaid in well water (high calcium) was not as effective (reduced growth by 30%) as when additional (NH4)2SO4 was added (reduced growth by 53%), and if CaCl2 (used to control corking) was tank mixed with Apogee + Regulaid, the Ca++ interfered with the growth suppression of P-Ca. If (NH4)2SO4 was added at the same rate as CaCl2 (w/w), the Apogee growth suppression was completely restored (reduced growth by 50%). Choice (a commercial water conditioner that has (NH4)2SO4 in the formulation, among other ingredients) + Li-700, or (NH4)2SO4 + Silwet L-77, or (NH4)2SO4 + Silwet L-77 + Oil were among the most effective adjuvant combinations with Apogee. The addition of ethephon at 270 mg·L-1 improved the growth suppression of Apogee + (NH4)2SO4 + Regulaid. Solubor compromised the effectiveness of Apogee + Regulaid. Adjusting the pH of the Apogee + (NH4)2SO4+ Regulaid spray to either pH = 4 or pH = 9 did not affect efficacy. The combination of Apogee + (NH4)2SO4 + Regulaid caused increased fruit cracking of `Empire' fruit as compared to the control (7%), presumably due to increased absorption of P-Ca. Chemical names used: Prohexadione-calcium (P-Ca, 3-oxido-4-propionyl-5-oxo-3cyclohexenecarboxylate) formulated as BAS-125 (10% P-Ca); Apogee (27.5% P-Ca), or Technical 93.5% P-Ca); Regulaid (polyoxyethylenepolypropoxy-propanol, alkyl 2-ethoxethanol, and dihydroxy propane); Silwet L-77 (polyalkyleneoxide modified heptametyltrisiloxane, silicon surfactant), LI-700 (80%, phosphatidylcholine, methylacetic acid and alkyl polyoxyethylene ether); Superior Oil (Drexel Damoil 70-second delayed dormant spray oil); ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid); Solubor (20.5%, Boron equivalent); captan (N-Trichloromethylthio-4-cyclohenene-1,2-dicarboximide).

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Aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) applied as a spray to 'Arlet' apple trees inhibited fruit drop and increased the pull force necessary to detach the fruit. AVG delayed the loss of fruit firmness, starch degradation, fruit shriveling, and red color development. 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), applied as a gas or spray to trees in the field, did not affect fruit drop or pull force. The combination of AVG + 1-MCP (spray or gas) provided better control of fruit drop, slowed the loss of fruit firmness, starch degradation, and decrease in pull force than AVG alone. Thirty five days after the optimum harvest date, fruit firmness from trees sprayed with AVG + 1-MCP was maintained at 74.3 N. Fruit of the control was significantly lower at 61.4 N firmness. The delay in harvest caused untreated control fruit stems to turn brown and die, but stems on AVG treated trees remained green and fruit continued to grow. In the 35 days after the optimum harvest date, treated fruit increased 2.5 cm in fruit diameter. Chemicals used: Aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), and trisiloxane ethoxylate methyl ether (an organosilicone surfactant, Silwet L-77).

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