Fruit-bearing limbs of five apple (Malus domestics Borkh.) cultivars varying in degree of biennial bearing were either unsprayed or received five repeat applications of BA at 50 mg·liter-1 with daminozide at 2000 mg·liter-1. BA and daminozide increased early appendage formation of potential flower buds, but this increase was sustained only on `Early McIntosh' and `Baldwin'. BA and daminozide increased return bloom on all treated limbs, with the exception of `Early McIntosh'. The annually bearing cultivars McIntosh and Delicious initiated 20 appendages before the formation of floral parts, while the biennially bearing cultivars Golden Delicious, Baldwin, and Early McIntosh initiated 19, 18, and 22 appendages, respectively. Flower removal before bloom increased appendage formation on the biennial cultivar Baldwin but not on the annual cultivar Delicious. Chemical names used: N -(phenylmethyl) -1 H-purine-6-arnine (BA); butanedioic acid mono(2,2-dimethyihydrazide) (daminozide).
GA3 scaffold injections applied between May and November to nonbearing olive (Olea europea L.) trees inhibited flowering the following year, increased shoot width when applied in May, June, and July, and increased inflorescence length when applied in November and February. Fruit removal and seed destruction were effective in improving the return bloom in `Manzanillo' olives when done before endocarp sclerification. Depending on-the year, endocarp sclerification takes place 7 to 8 weeks after full bloom (AFB), usually about 1 July. Fruit removal had no effect on flowering when done after this time. Scaffold injection of paclobutrazol applied to bearing trees between May and September did not affect flowering the following year. The results of our research supports the hypothesis that olive flower induction occurs around the time of endocarp sclerification. Chemical names used: gibberellic acid (GA3), (2RS,3RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4-dimethyl-2-1,2-4-triazol-1-yl) pentan-3-ol(paclobutrazol).
Fruit thinning by a postbloom spray of 1-naphthyl n-methycarbamate (carbaryl) or naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) was not increased by a previous full bloom spray of gibberellin A4+7 (GA4+7) plus 6-benzylamino purine (BA). Chemical thinning generally increased return bloom but not fruit size. GA4+7 + BA consistently increased the fruit L/D ratio, showed no effect on fruit size or seed number, and these responses were not altered by the chemical thinners. Overall responses were similar for trees treated either one or 2 consecutive years with GA4+7 + BA and chemical thinners. Response to treatment was similar among strain of ‘Delicious’ and did not vary with tree age.
Soil waterlogging imposed for 6-week periods in the spring, summer, or fall reduced vegetative growth and fruit yield of ‘Macspur’/Malling 26 apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees over their 7th to 9th growing seasons. Shoot and trunk growth were reduced most by spring and summer waterlogging. The relative decrease in shoot growth of summer-waterlogged trees increased over the three treatment years. Excavation of the trees in 1985 revealed that root dry weight was reduced markedly by summer waterlogging, but shoot dry weight was not affected by treatment. Average fruit yield was reduced severely by spring waterlogging (52%). Yield reductions increased with successive years of stress for all treatments, with the most marked trend over years associated with summer waterlogging. Decrease in yield was paralled by increased return bloom. There were no marked effects on fruit quality.
Succinic acid, 2, 2-dimethyl hydrazide (Alar) sprays were applied at 3,000 and 10,000 ppm to vigorous young ‘Delicious’ apple trees in which yields were limited by insufficient bloom. Sprays applied at the high concentration after harvest in 1965 not only delayed bloom the following spring but also caused mortality of fruit buds and individual flowers. Alar sprays applied shortly after full bloom in 1966 retarded shoot elongation more effectively than the postharvest sprays applied the previous fall, but both were about equally effective in retarding fruit growth and promoting fruit bud formation during the 1966 growing season. The postharvest sprays caused an oblate fruit shape the following year. Alar sprays increased fruit firmness, but did not significantly affect soluble solids or titratable acids. The Alar-induced flowering was responsible for large increases in yield in 1967. Trees which were induced to flower profusely had a very light return bloom in 1968.
Prunes trees are believed to be relatively tolerant of water stress, and because prune fruit are dried, a low fresh to dry weight ratio of the fruit will reduce energy requirements for fruit drying and will represent an economic benefit to the grower. In previous research, we found that, under some orchard conditions, irrigation deprivation was associated with a number of economically beneficial effects, including a lower fresh to dry weight ratio of the fruit, increased return bloom, and final saleable crop yield. Analysis of these results was complicated by the effects of irrigation on alternate bearing, and the fact that tree water stress could be substantially different under different soil conditions for the same level of irrigation deprivation. Taking these factors into account, however, indicated that economic yield in prune could be maintained or increased by managing trees at a moderate level of water stress. An experiment was established to determine whether midday stem water potential could be used to guide irrigation and achieve a target level of water stress during the growing season, and whether a moderate level of water stress would be economically beneficial to prune production. By managing prune trees at a moderate level of water stress (midday stem water potential reaching about –1.5 Mpa by the end of the season) over 3 years, an average savings of 40% in applied irrigation water was obtained. Modest increases in return bloom, and an improved fruit dry to fresh weight ratio, occurred in moderately water stressed trees, although overall yield was not changed. The substantial savings in water, without reducing yield, should represent a net economic benefit to growers, depending on the price they pay for water.
In 1994, we established that a surfactant, Armothin (AR), reduced fruit set when applied as 3% and 5% AR at 100 gal/acre with a Stihl mistblower to `Loadel' clingstone peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. In 1995 we compared 3% AR at volumes of 100 and 200 gal/acre (935 and 1870 L.ha-1, the volumes most commonly used by tree fruit growers in California) applied with commercial airblast sprayer; overthinning resulted with the latter. In 1996, we applied 3% AR at 100 gal/acre and 1% AR at 200 gal/acre. In 1995, differential applications of 3% AR at 100 gal/acre (two-thirds of the material applied to either the upper or lower canopy) reduced fruit set in the upper canopy in proportion to the amount of chemical applied (twice as much fruit set reduction with twice as much chemical); fruit set in the lower canopy was reduced by an equal amount regardless of amount of chemical used. Salable yields, equivalent to those obtained by hand thinning, and improved fruit size were achieved with all treatments of 3% AR at 100 gal/acre in 1995 with a 76% reduction in hand thinning. Following a low-chill winter (1995-96) with a protracted bloom, flower bud density (return bloom) was significantly greater in 1995 AR-treated trees. In 1996, treatment with AR did not result in fruit set reduction due to the protracted bloom and poor weather conditions before and after bloom. Nonetheless, 1% AR at 200 gal/acre applied in 1996 increased salable yield and increased final fruit mass. Return bloom in 1997 was equal among 1996 treatments.
The sensitivity of French prune (Prunus domestica L. syn. `Petite d'Agen') to water deprivation at various fruit growth stages was studied over 3 years in a drip-irrigated orchard. The soil was a poorly drained Rocklin fine sandy loam with a hardpan that varied from 4.75 to I m from the surface at the northern end of the orchard (shallow soil condition) to no hardpan apparent to 2 m below the surface at the southern end of the orchard (deep soil condition). Water deprivation during a) the first exponential phase of fruit growth or stage I, b) lag phase of fruit growth or stage II, c) first half of stage II, d) second half of stage II, e) second exponential fruit growth phase or stage III, and f) postharvest was compared to a fully watered control. Water deprivation caused the most severe reduction in tree water status when it was imposed over longer periods of time and during periods of high evaporative demand and also had mm-e severe effects under shallow soil conditions. Compared to the control treatment, deprivation during all of stage II (the most severe deprivation treatment) was associated with increased Ilowering, reduced fruit hydration ratio, and smaller fruit size under all soil conditions. Under deep soil conditions, deprivation during all of stage II resulted in increased return bloom, which was reflected in higher fruit loads and dry t-ha-' fruit yield. However, under shallow soil conditions, even though return bloom was increased with this treatment, fruit loads and dry t·ha-1 fruit yields were the lowest of all treatments. These differences in treatment effects in shallow vs. deep soil conditions were most likely the result of increased fruit drop, which occurred under shallow soil conditions as a result of rapid onset and increased severity ofstress. Treatments that had parallel effects in shallow and deep soil conditions resulted in statistically significant overall treatment effects, while those that had opposing effects in shallow vs. deep soil conditions did not show significant overall treatment effects. Substantial alternate hearing occurred, and, in general, dry fruit yields above ≈9 dry t·ha-1 resulted in a decrease in fruit load the following year, while loads below this value showed a subsequent increase. Based on a separate estimate of the theoretically stable value for each treatment, all deprivation treatments resulted in a higher sustainable fruit load compared to the fully irrigated control. This suggests that, for the purpose of prune fruit production, there may be an optimal level of tree water stress.
For studies on blossom/fruit thinning in apple, tree selection is often based on uniformity of bloom/crop load, assuming that such trees exhibit greater uniformity to treatment. However, the literature is replete with data showing marked variation for a given treatment. We followed variation in bloom/crop density of spur-type `Delicious'/MM.106 and effect of ethephon applied in high crop years on return bloom/yield. Uniform trees (n = 95), under identical cultural practices, were selected for varying crop load. Return bloom, yield and fruit size were monitored over six years. General mean (X) for yield was 94 ± 25 kg/tree and bloom density, rated 1 to 10 (highest), was 5.4 ± 1.7. Annual yield deviated from X by +56 to –40% and bloom density by +49 to –42%. All trees were ranked (decreasing yield) and assigned to five percentile (PCTL) groups (1st, 81-100; 2nd, 61-80; 3rd, 41-60; 4th, 21-40; 5th, 0-20 kg/tree). Trees in each group were reassigned annually to the five PCPL groups for the next five years. Of trees in 1st PCTL (n = 19, X = 187 ± 10 kg/tree) in year one, 5, 5, 24, 0 and 63% placed in PCPL 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively, in year two. Of trees in 1st PCTL (5%) in year two, all placed in PCTL 2 in year three. Effect of ethephon [200 mg·L-1 at 3, 3 + 6, 3 + 6 + 9 weeks after full bloom (WAFB)] applied in on years to `Redchief', with strong alternate bearing, were evaluated for six years. Ethephon at 3 WAFB had no effect. Yield from multiple applications differed from control (NTC) in off years, but not from each other. Total yield (3 on + 3 off years) for the NTC and ethephon at 3 + 6 WAFB was similar (479 vs. 471 kg/tree). However, 64% of the total yield was produced in the on years and 36% in the off years in NTC vs. 56 and 44% in 3 + 6 WAFB, respectively.
Localized and carry-over effects of light exposure [as inferred from specific leaf weight (SLW)] on spur viability, flowering, and fruit set were monitored in selected spurs throughout walnut (Juglans regia, cvs. Serr and Hartley) tree canopies. Shaded spurs (i.e., average SLW <4 mg·cm-2) were predisposed to die during the winter, and spur mortality was accentuated among spurs that had borne fruit that season. More catkins and distillate flowers per spur were characteristic of the more exposed positions within the canopy (as indicated by SLW) during the previous summer and following an “off” year. In exposed `Serr' canopy positions (SLW >5 mg·cm-2), catkin and Pistillate flower maturation was reduced in fruiting spurs by 60% and 30%, respectively, in the subsequent year relative to vegetative spurs. In `Hartley', the number of distillate flowers was also reduced by 35% on spurs that fruited the previous year relative to spurs that had been vegetative. Maximum rates of return bloom and fruit set were evident in spurs exhibiting the highest SLW and N per unit leaf area (NA), specific to each cultivar. Among spurs of both cultivars, distillate flower development was more sensitive to shading in the previous season than was catkin development. Shell weight of `Serr' varied positively with SLW, but kernel weight, fruit N, and oil concentration did not vary “with SLW in either cultivar.