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Liping Zhang, Chen Shen, Jipeng Wei and Wenyan Han

6-Benzyladenine (6-BA) is a safe and efficient cytokinin. The adult tea plants of the cv. Longjing 43 were used in this study. The foliar portion of tea bushes were sprayed with different concentrations (50, 100, 200, or 400 mg·L−1) of 6-BA after heavy pruning, when three to four leaves grew out in late May. The effects of 6-BA application on the growth of the new shoots and lateral branches were quantified. After 5 months, treatments with 50, 100, 200, or 400 mg·L−1 6-BA suppressed plant height by 11.0%, 18.0%, 21.0%, or 22.0%, respectively; 6-BA at 100, 200, or 400 mg·L−1 decreased the number of lateral branches by 20.0%, 23.0%, or 18.0%, respectively. Meanwhile, treatments with 50, 200, or 400 mg·L−1 6-BA increased the length of lateral branches by 38.0%, 79.0%, or 81.0% respectively; 200 mg·L−1 6-BA increased the diameter of lateral branches by 8.0%. In addition, after 2 months, 50 or 200 mg·L−1 6-BA did not significantly affect the growth of functional leaves, 50, 100, or 200 mg·L−1 6-BA did not significantly affect photosynthetic rate (Pn) as compared with the control. Furthermore, 200 or 400 mg·L−1 6-BA significantly increased spring tea yield by 28.9% or 13.3%, respectively as compared with the control. In conclusion, 6-BA at the four concentrations promoted dwarfing and the formation of productive lateral branches and increased the spring yield, and 200 mg·L−1 6-BA exerted the best comprehensive effect.