Under California conditions `Granny Smith' apple does not “self-thin” sufficiently to promote good return bloom nor to provide fruit size desired for the fresh market. Preliminary studies conducted during 1985-87 indicated that 1-naphthyl N-methylcarbamate (carbaryl), 1-naphthaleneacetic Acid (NAA), and 1-naphthaleneacetamide (NAD) could be useful for thinning `Granny Smith'. Detailed studies conducted in 1988 and 89 using dilute handgun applications demonstrated that all 3 materials provided reasonable thinning as shown by fruit set counts. NAA and NAD tended to slow fruit growth as compared to carbaryl. Carbaryl tended to uniformly thin clusters while NAA and NAD were more likely to remove all the fruit from some clusters and few fruit from others, especially in 1988. Compared to the control, all materials applied in 1988 improved return bloom in 1989 with carbaryl having a slightly greater effect than NAA and NAD. As a result of these studies carbaryl at 1.7 to 2.2 kg (active ingredient) per ha as a dilute application is being suggested for grower trials in California.
The thinning potential of various chemicals sprayed on `Tifblue' rabbiteye blueberry was examined in the greenhouse in 1990 and under field conditions in 1991 and 1992. In the greenhouse, BA concentrations ranging from 25 to 500 mg·liter-1 and carbaryl concentrations ranging from 400 to 2100 mg·liter-1 reduced fruit set when treatments were applied 16 days after corolla drop (ACD). GA3 reduced fruit set only at 50 mg·liter-1 and NAA did not influence fruit set. In the field, BA at 75 mg·liter-1 and the combination of carbaryl at 400 mg·liter-1 and BA at 25 mg·liter-1 reduced fruit set in 1991 and 1992. Combinations of carbaryl and GA3 reduced fruit set, but the response depended on GA3 concentration and varied from year to year. GA3, NAA, and carbaryl also reduced fruit set, but the results were inconsistent. In 1991, greater thinning occurred when the treatments were sprayed 10 days ACD. BA at 25 mg·liter-1 increased fruit diameter at first harvest in 1991, and carbaryl at 400 mg·liter-1 increased fruit diameter in 1991 and 1992. Fruit diameter was increased in the presence and absence of thinning, depending on year and application time. Yield and return bloom were not influenced by any of the treatments. Chemical names used: 7 benzylamino purine (BA); gibberellic acid (GA3); 2-naphaleneacetic acid (NAA); 1-naphthyl N-methylcarbamate (carbaryl).
A Phil Brown Corporation, hydraulic operated rope thinner was evaluated in 1995 and 1997 to determine performance for bloom thinning under Alabama peach growing conditions. Using detailed pruned trees in 1995, the rope thinner removed 55% and 57% of the blooms from two double pass treatments and 42% from single pass. Thinning was 9% to 31% higher in the upper one-half of the fruiting zone. In 1997, nondetail pruned trees were used and ground speed was evaluated. Percent blooms removed by single pass were 28, 23, and 22 for 1.6, 3.2, and 4.8 km·h-1, respectively. Double pass clockwise removed 38% of the blooms at 3.2 km·h-1. Greatest time saving for follow-up hand thinning was 15 minutes per tree with double pass over hand-thinned only.
This study was conducted to determine efficacy of Tergitol TMN-6 in thinning peach blossoms. A pretest was conducted and demonstrated no difference between TMN-6 and TMN-10 in efficacy when applied at full bloom or petal fall and at rates of 20 and 40 mL·L-1. In the main test, Tergitol TMN-6 was sprayed once at 10, 20, or 30 mL·L-1 at full bloom or petal fall and compared to an unsprayed control for 3 years. Tergitol caused widespread necrosis of flower parts including sepals, petals, pistils, stamens and peduncles. There was a difference among chemical treatments with more fruit removed at higher concentrations, although the amount of fruit removed was similar for the 20 and 30 mL·L-1 rates. There was no difference in thinning response at full bloom or petal fall, indicating a wide window of efficacy. There was also a difference among years, which was apparently not related to temperature or relative humidity during time of application. Tergitol caused some leaf yellowing and tip burn especially at the higher rates when leaves were present, but the trees did not appear to be seriously affected. Fruit weight was either not affected or larger in some years from treatment. Unlike higher concentrations, tergitol at 10 mL·L-1 did not negatively impact fruit number per tree at harvest. At harvest, fruit weight, skin blush, firmness, and soluble solids at harvest were not affected by treatment. Tergitol TMN-6 proved to be an effective thinning agent and when applied from full bloom to petal fall at 10 mL·L-1 it did not adversely affect the tree or fruit.
Successful fruit thinning of apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) with CGA 15281, an ethylene-releasing compound, was demonstrated at 20 and 46 days past bloom. A rapid drop in fruit removal force was followed by fruit abscission on days 4 and 5. In contrast, ethephon often resulted in protracted abscission and complete fruit removal. Differential sensitivity to CGA 15281 existed among cultivars. Explants were less sensitive to ethylene than intact fruit, and could not be used for controlled experiments. No adverse effects of CGA 15281 were noted with the exception of some leaf drop in the interior of the tree.
Trees of Malus domestica (Borkh.) ‘Miller Sturdeespur’ were hand thinned to achieve light, medium, and heavy fruit loads. A heavy European red mite (ERM), Panonychus ulmi (Koch), infestation was encouraged by mite seeding and predator elimination in half the trees for each fruit load. The effect of these treatments were determined on fruit number, number and percentage of drops, fruit size, color, soluble solids, titratable acidity, pH, firmness, and percentage of foliar concentration for 5 macronutrients. Mite feeding increased the percentage of drop and reduced red pigmentation, soluble solids, and leaf phosphorus and calcium. Deleterious effects of mite feeding increased with increasing fruit load. With light fruit loads, heavy mite feeding had a negligible effect on fruit quality.
In fruit-growing areas where pollination and fruit set conditions are optimum, biennial bearing is a regular occurrence unless steps are taken to reduce fruit set in the heavy bloom year. In the past, a two- or three-spray thinning program was used in the state of Washington on difficult cultivars, consisting of Elgetol at bloom time, followed by a petal fall spray of Amide-thin, followed by a later postbloom spray of NAA or Sevin. In 1989, Elgetol was removed from the market by the manufacturer because of the high cost of re-registration. In 1990, a search for an Elgetol replacement was initiated. Elgetol was a contact spray that damaged flower parts and prevented fertilization of the ovule. Thus, it was logical to look for other products that had a similar mode of action. Sulfcarbamide (monocarbamide dihydrogen sulfate) (D-88) (Wilthin), a foliage desiccant used on potatoes, onions, and alfalfa, and tested as a dilute full-volume spray on apple blossoms, was found to be an effective blossom thinner. Chemical rates of 0.25% to 0.5% (v/v) applied at 80% of bloom open reduced fruit set by 25% to 50% compared to controls.
climate conditions. This may explain, in part, why Oregon ‘Pinot noir’ growers cluster-thin vineyards to a narrow range of yields across vineyards that vary in vigor and yield potential rather than strategizing yield targets relative to canopy size
Several peach varieties were sprayed with 3-chlorophenoxy-α-propionamide (3-CPA) at different stages of fruit development. The timing of the application was critical, and varieties differed greatly in their thinning response. The ‘Ranger’ variety was thinned with ease, but attempts to thin ‘Cardinal’ with 3-CPA were unsuccessful. Fruit thinning apparently increased the cold hardiness of the flowers during the following bloom period. Several spray additives were found to increase the thinning effectiveness of 3-CPA.
Six-year-old York/M.9 trees were used to evaluate combinations of chemicals for fruit thinning. In one experiment a factorial combination of 2 levels of carbaryl (0 or 600 mg·L-1) and 5 levels of 6-BA (0, 40, 80, 120, and 160 mg·L-1) were sprayed when fruit diam. averaged 10.5 mm. Carbaryl significantly reduced fruit set, number of fruit/tree, yield efficiency, and crop density, and increased fruit weight. The main effect of 6-BA did not significantly influence any response variable. Two variables were significantly influenced by the carbaryl × 6-BA interaction. In the absence of carbaryl, fruit set was reduced and fruit weight was increased by 6-BA at concentrations less than 160 mg·L-1, but the addition of 6-BA to carbaryl was no more effective than carbaryl alone. In a second experiment, a factorial combination of 2 levels of carbaryl (0 vs. 600 mg·L-1), 2 levels of NAA (0 vs. 5 mg·L-1), and 2 levels of ethephon (0 vs. 450 mg·L-1) were sprayed when fruit when fruit diam. averaged 10.5 mm. Carbaryl and NAA reduced fruit set by about 30%, but ethephon overthinned and reduced set by 65%. When the other materials were combined with ethephon, thinning was similar to ethephon alone. The combination of carbaryl and NAA was no more effective than either material alone. The lowest values for yield, yield efficiency, and numbers of fruit per tree were associated with the combination of ethephon plus NAA. Ethephon was the only material that increased fruit weight.