The effects of prohexadione-calcium (P-Ca) on fruit size and return bloom in three pear cultivars were evaluated in Medford and Hood River, Ore., and in Cashmere, Wash. A variety of treatment dosages and timings was applied to 4- and 5-year-old trees in 2 years of study. Fruit weight of `Bosc' and `Red Anjou' pears was not affected by P-Ca treatments at any location in either year. However, decreased weight of `Bartlett' pear fruit was associated with all P-Ca treatments in 1999 in Medford except for 83 ppm applied at 2.5 to 6.0 cm shoot growth (first treatment) plus 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after first treatment (WAFT) and 125 ppm applied at 2.5 to 6.0 cm growth plus 4 WAFT. `Bartlett' fruit weight was reduced in Medford in 2000 by all treatments except 125 ppm applied at 2.5 to 6.0 cm growth plus 4, 8, and 12 WAFT. In Cashmere in 2000, mean weight of `Bartlett' and `d'Anjou' fruit was reduced by treatments with 83 or 125 ppm applied at 2.5 to 6.0 cm growth plus 2, 4, and 6 WAFT and of `Bosc' pear by all treatments that included more than a single application of P-Ca. Crop load was not significantly different among treatments at any location. Return bloom in the year following P-Ca treatment was reduced in `Bosc' pears by some to most treatments at all locations in both years. In contrast, return bloom was reduced in `Bartlett' and `Anjou' pears only in Hood River in 1999.
The `Honeycrisp' apple has unique characteristics favored by consumers that has provided exceptional return to growers. This cultivar also has some traits that challenge plant management. There appears to be a strong inhibitory effect of crop load on flower initiation and thus annual cropping. We studied the relationship between fruit load, established by post-bloom hand and chemical thinning, and effect of ethephon and gibberellin (GA4+7) on flower initiation and thereby annual cropping. Initially, return bloom (RB) was related to previous season's crop load in three thinning studies on 3- and 9-year-old `Honeycrisp'/M 9, Pajam 1 trees. The RB density was rated 1–10 on trees (n=172), which produced 0-60 kg of fruit/tree. Return bloom ratings (RBR) on the 3-year-old trees ranged from 0–9. Percentage of trees with RBR >5 for previous season's yield of <5 kg, 5–10, 10–15, and 15–20 was 70, 9, 2.5, and 0, respectively. There was dramatic inhibition of flowering at a crop load of >5 kg/tree. In the second study (9-year-old trees), crop load ranged from 15–60 kg/tree (n=24). RBR for trees in the 30–40 kg/tree class ranged from 0–8 with high variability. Thirty-one percent of trees with crop load between 20–30 kg had RBR of 5–8, and 26% between 0–5. Twenty-one percent of trees in the 30–40 kg/tree class flowered and all but one had a RBR of 5 or less. Yields ranged from 22–81 kg/tree in the third study (n=60); crop load was normally distributed among trees. Flower initiation was almost completely inhibited. Fifty percent of the trees did not flower; the remainder had a RBR of <1, i.e. <10%. In the ethephon/GA study, RBR ranged 8–10 on trees producing <12 kg/tree, then decreased rapidly to <2 for yields of 25–50; greatest variation at 20–40 kg.
CPPU was applied to whole spur `Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees in central Washington at 0,6.25,12.5,25, or 50 mg·liter-1 at full bloom (FB) or FB plus 2 weeks. At both application times, the flesh firmness of treated fruit linearly increased with increasing concentration. CPPU applied at 0,5,10,15, or 20 mg·liter-1 to spur `Delicious' trees in Massachusetts at king bloom resulted in a linear increase in flesh firmness at harvest and following 28 weeks in air storage at 0C. CPPU did not affect the incidence of senescent breakdown, decay, or cork spot. Fruit length: diameter (L/D) ratios generally increased at all doses. Fruit weight was not influenced at either location. All CPPU concentrations reduced return bloom on `Delicious' apples in Massachusetts in 1989. Of the 10, 20, or 40 mg·liter-1 treatments for `Empire' apples, only CPPU at 40 mg·liter-1 reduced return bloom. CPPU applied to `Empire' apples in Massachusetts did not effect fruit set, soluble solids concentration, L/D, or firmness; however, fruit weight increased linearly with concentration. CPPU applied at 100 mg·liter-1 retarded preharvest fruit drop of `Early McIntosh' in Massachusetts for ≈7 days but was not as effective as NAA at 20 mg·liter-1. In a larger semicommercial trial, `Delicious' fruit treated with CPPU at 5,10, or 15 mg·liter-1 at FB, petal fall (PF), or PF plus 1 week, respectively, were harvested and graded over a commercial packing line. Malformities caused by CPPU at the highest doses reduced packout, although all CPPU application rates reduced the percent fruit culled due to poor color. CPPU increased packed fruit size, since the size of fruit (64 mm in diameter) in the >150-fruit/box size decreased, while the size of fruit (72 mm in diameter) in the 100- and 130-fruit/box sizes increased. Treated fruit stored for 7 months at 1C were firmer than nontreated controls. Chemical names used: N-(2-chloro-4-pyridyl)- N' -phenylurea (CPPU); 1 naphthalene-acetic acid (NAA).
A study was conducted to compare a single nitrogen application in March (125 kg N/ha) vs. a split application in March (75 kg N/ha) and October (50 kg N/ha) on 15-year-old `Maramec'. After one season, N application time did not affect return bloom. A split N application increased trunk wood Kjeldahl-N but decreased Kjeldahl-N in the current season's reproductive shoots and 1-year-old branches compared to a single application in March. Kjeldahl-N concentration was not affected by treatment in current season's vegetative shoots, trunk bark or roots. Nitrate-N concentration was not affected by treatment in any tissue sampled. Between the first week of October and the first killing frost in November, Kjeldahl-N increased 29% in current season's shoots, 21% in trunk bark, 32% in roots >1 cm in diameter, and 15% in roots <1 cm in diameter but decreased 42% in trunk wood and 5% in 1-year-old branches. Roots <1 cm in diameter accumulated more nitrate-N than other tissues during November.
To determine the effect of blossom and fruitlet thinners on crop load, fruit weight, seed development during the year of treatment, and the subsequent year effect on return bloom, fruit weight and yield, a field trial using the biennial apple cultivar `Northern Spy' (Malus × domestica Borkh.) was established. Treatments applied at full bloom included ATS (ammonium thiosulphate) [12% (w/v) nitrogen, 26% (w/v) S]; TD [15.9% (w/v) diacarboxylic acid, 5.5% (w/v) dimethylalkylamine salt (Endothal)] and SCY [57% (w/v) pelargonic acid (Scythe)]. At 18 days after full bloom (DAFB), oil treatments [98% (w/v) mineral oil (Superior “70” oil)] were applied with S [480 g·L-1 a.i. carbaryl (Sevin XLR)] and without as a means of increasing the efficacy of S. BA [19 g·L-1 a.i. 6-benzyladenine/1.9 g·L-1 a.i. gibberellins 4+7 (Accel)]; S; and/or SA [100% (w/w) 2-hydroxybenzoic acid (salicylic acid)], were also applied in a factorial arrangement on the same day. Fruit abscission was significantly increased the year of treatment with BA, S, BA + S, BA + SA, S + SA, BA + S + SA, oil, and S + oil. Average fruit weight was enhanced by S, BA + S, BA + SA, S + SA, BA + S + SA, and S + oil although in the latter treatment the crop load was very low. Only treatments that included BA reduced the number of fully developed seeds per fruit and seed number per trunk cross-sectional area (TCA) and increased return bloom. Defining the number of fully developed seeds per tree coupled with crop load is proposed as a predictor of return bloom in `Northern Spy'.
Leaf number, area and chlorophyll content, and specific leaf weight were greater in light-exposed spurs of ‘Hartley’ walnut (Juglans regia L.) than those grown in the shade. Starch content increased early in the season in shaded spurs, but the accumulation ceased while the nuts stored dry matter. In exposed spurs, starch increased steadily until harvest. After harvest, starch level decreased in exposed and shaded spurs. Light intensity did not affect percentage composition of spurs and fruit with respect to carbohydrates or oil content in kernels. Increased exposure to light resulted in higher percentage of return bloom, greater spur growth, and more pistillate flowers per spur the following season.
Thinning with BA reportedly increases size of 'Empire' fruit more than does thinning with NAA because of enhancement of cell division by BA. This study was conducted to determine the phenological stage at which BA application provides maximum fruit weight relative to degree of cropload reduction. In all years, treatments were applied at a range of timings: petal fall (PF), 5-, 10-, or 15-mm king fruitlet diameter (KFD). For each thinner, the same concentration was used throughout the study. In 1994, only Accel® at 75 mg·L-1 was evaluated. In 1995, NAA (7.5 mg·L-1) + carbaryl (600 mg·L-1), Accel®, and a BA-only formulation were compared, but BA alone was applied only at PF, 10- and 15-mm KFD. In 1996, Accel® and NAA were compared with and without carbaryl at all timings. Most treatments reduced cropload and enhanced fruit weight. When data for all 3 years were combined, Accel® or BA increased cropload-adjusted fruit weight (CAFW) in 8 of 10 treatments made at 10- or 15-mm KFD, PF treatments never increased CAFW, and only one of four applications at 5-mm KFD increased CAFW. In contrast, NAA + carbaryl increased CAFW in four of four treatments applied at PF or 5-mm KFD, but in only one of four treatments at 10- or 15-mm KFD. Accel® was less effective than NAA in reducing fruit clusters to a single fruit per spur in most comparisons, either with or without carbaryl. Return bloom varied greatly across years, but was always influenced by application time and types of thinners. In 1994 and 1996, return bloom was closely related to cropload the previous year. Although return bloom was very low for most treatments in 1995, 10- and 15-mm KFD applications of NAA + carbaryl increased it three-fold in comparison with other treatments (NAA + carbaryl at PF or 5 mm or BA at 10-mm KFD) that had similar effects on cropload. Chemical names used: 6-benzyladenine (BA); naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).
Early season multiple spray applications of 5, 10, or 20 ppm of gibberellins A4+7 (GA4+7) reduced the severity and frequency of russet on four strains of ‘Golden Delicious’ apple (Malus domestica Borkh) fruit at three locations over 1, 2, or 3 years. The distribution of fruit in the U.S. extra fancy and fancy categories (graded for russet only) increased with increasing concentration of GA4+7 sprays. Regression analysis of data pooled from seven trials predicted for the 5-, 10-, and 20-ppm GA4+7 sprays, respectively, 68%, 74%, and 76% of the fruit falling in the combined extra fancy and fancy grades as compared to 40% on the untreated control trees. Additional experiments revealed tank-mixing GA4+7 with pesticides reduced the degree of russet suppression in one trial, but not in another. Return bloom was diminished on trees sprayed with GA4+7 in the previous year and the flower cluster density was inversely related to GA4+7 concentration. Chemical names used: (1α,2β,4aα,4bβ,10β)-2,4a,7-trihydroxy-1-methyl-8-methylenegibb-3-ene-1,10-dicarboxylic acid 1,4a-lactone (GA4+7); polyoxyethylene-polypropoxypropanol dihydroxypropane (Regulaid).
Fruit size and return bloom of apple (Malus domestica Brokh.) were examined in 1982-84 under varying levels of crop load and stress caused by the European red mite [Panonychus ulmi (Koch)]. Trees of ‘Rome Beauty’/MM.111 and ‘Yorking’ M.26 were subjected to two and three levels of mite stress, respectively, over a range of leaf : fruit ratios (LFRs). Regression models were used to explore the effect of LFR on fruit size and return bloom at the various mite injury levels. There was a curvilinear relationship between mean fruit weight and LFR for most of the check and mite-injured groups. The relationship between bloom density and LFR was linear over the range studied. Both experiments indicated reduced fruit size and return bloom with moderate to high mite damage, regardless of LFR.
Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and 1-naphthyl N-methyl carbamate (carbaryl) applied separately in both dilute and concentrated sprays significantly increased fruit size; however, when butanedioic mono-2,2-dimethylhydrazide (daminozide) was added, fruit size remained about the same as on unsprayed check trees. Crop load was not significantly affected by any of these treatments. Dilute and concentrated sprays of carbaryl produced more return bloom than did NAA. The most effective treatments were combinations of NAA and carbaryl, either dilute or concentrated. Combining first-cover pesticides [azinphosmethyl (guthion) and cis-N-(trichloromethyl)thio)-4-cy-clonexane-l,2-dicarboximide (captan)] with NAA, and captan with carbaryl, produced satisfactory thinning.