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  • Author or Editor: Sandra I. Walter x
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A mechanical bloom-thinning technique, using suspended flexible strands of rubber belting or rope moved through trees on a frame mounted on a forklift, was tested on ‘Early Loring’ peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. Heaviest thinning occurred in the upper two-thirds of the tree canopy. Shoot orientation and flower position did not affect bloom removal. Maximum bloom removal occurred at full bloom when the thinning machine passed through a tree at least four times. Operating at an increased tractor speed increased thinning. The most effective treatments removed 45% to 59% of the blossoms, reduced number of fruit from 18 to around 10/cm2 limb cross-sectional area (CSA) and reduced hand thinning time by 30%.

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