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  • Author or Editor: S.L. Breitkreutz x
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Pest damage to apple fruit is intolerable by our current standards. However, the effects of foliar damage on the plant's physiological status and fruit quality are not thoroughly understood. The objective of this work was to determine the time during the growing season when apple trees are most susceptible to foliar damage. Terbacil (50 ppm), an inhibitor of photosynthesis, was applied to 8-year-old `Gala'/Mark planted at 6 ×18-foot spacing or 14-year-old `Empire'/M106 planted at 18 × 20-foot spacing at 20- to 30-day intervals from petal fall until harvest to simulate environmental or biological stress. The work was conducted from 1995 through 1998. Photosynthesis was inhibited by 50% to 80% within 24 h of application of Terbacil but recovered to control levels 10 to 14 days after. The fruit were evaluated at harvest for total yield, size of fruit, and fruit number. Terbacil induced fruit abscission when applied at petal fall but not at later dates. The earlier the application, the greater the effect on current seasons yield and fruit size depending on crop load. For `Gala', there was a reduction in yield at petal fall of 30% to 70% over the control trees. Further detailed results will be presented.

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