tree training techniques because thinning on interior canopy limbs was quite variable. The string thinner originally tested was only adapted to bloom-thinning narrow vertical canopies. A prototype horizontal string blossom thinner and a hybrid that
various bloom stages compared with conventional green fruit hand thinning: 1) on blossom removal and follow-up hand thinning requirement; and 2) on crop load, fruit size, and net economic impact. Materials and Methods Mechanical string thinner
Effectiveness of pollination/fertilization inhibitors for flower thinning depends highly on the precise timing of sprays within 24 to 36 h after flower opening. In 1999, cool weather delayed the application of hormone-type thinners, which were intended for at bloom comparison with pollination/fertilization. Pollination inhibitors applied in bloom and hormone thinners applied at petal fall or 8 mm fruit diameter caused good fruit thinning. Ethephon applied in bloom did not cause thinning of `Empire' fruit, but Sevin + Accel + Oil caused good fruit thinning when applied in bloom. Sevin + Accel + Oil increase fruit diameter and did not affect fruit russet. Ethephon applied at 22 mm fruit diameter at water rates of 935 L/ha or 3741 L/ha and chemical rates of 21.5 L/ha or 42.9 L/ha did not cause significant fruit thinning. In 1998, pollination inhibitors and hormone-type growth regulators caused flower and fruit thinning of `Starkrimson'/MM111/106 trees. Good thinning occurred with both pollination inhibitors and ethephon treatments; but Sevin + Accel + oil was not as effective. Thinex caused the most side russet. Treatments that thinned generally caused increased fruit diameter. In 1999, return bloom was promoted by early thinning, but ethephon did not appear to promote return bloom beyond the thinning effect. In 1998, endothall caused good thinning of `York'/MM.111 with a minimum of foliage injury. Fruit diameter was increased. Thinning with endothall in 1998 greatly increased return bloom in 1999, but trees were slightly over thinned. Fruit injury caused by carbaryl was almost non-existant in 1999 in two tests having over 25 carbaryl treatments that compared different formulations and adjuvants for thinning and injury. Some very slight, non-significant injury, may have occurred with three of nine formulations tested when trees were shaded. Shading trees for 1 day in conjunction with carbaryl sprays also did not promote injury. In a previous year, shading trees promoted carbaryl injury. A tank mix of Oil with either 50WP, 80WP, XLR, or 4L formulations caused 3 to 8% of the fruit to show injury at a very low intensity. However, in an adjoining block, Sevin + Accel + Regulaid caused injury to >50% of the fruit when applied the same day as the other experiments. Further investigations on this problem are in progress.
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'.
The influence of bloom chemical thinner Wilthin on three apple cultivars (Royal Gala, Blushing Gold, and Ultra Gold) was investigated. Two experiments were conducted in 1995 and 1996 to determine the effect of Wilthin at 0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 1.5% on fruit length, fruit diameter, fruit weight, yield, juice pH, acidity, SSC, sucrose, glucose, fructose, fruit firmness, and fruit set. Wilthin reduced fruit set of `Royal Gala', `Ultra Gold', and `Blushing Golden' and increased yield of all cultivars. In general, Wilthin increased fruit weight of `Royal Gala', `Ultra Gold', and `Blushing Golden' both years. Wilthin increased fruit length and diameter of `Royal Gala' and `Ultra Gold', but it did not affect fruit length of `Blushing Golden'. Wilthin increased fruit juice pH of `Royal Gala', `Ultra Gold', and `Blushing Golden' during both years. Wilthin decreased fruit juice acidity of `Royal Gala', `Ultra Gold', and `Blushing Golden'. In 1995, Wilthin increased SSC of `Royal Gala' and `Ultra Gold'. In 1996, Wilthin did not effect SSC of `Royal Gala' and `Blushing Golden', but increased SSC of `Ultra Gold'. Wilthin increased sucrose concentration of `Royal Gala', `Ultra Gold', and `Blushing Golden'. Wilthin did not effect fruit juice glucose concentration of `Royal Gala' but increased fruit juice glucose concentration of `Ultra Gold' and `Blushing Golden'. Wilthin did not influenced fructose content of `Royal Gala' and `Blushing Golden' apples. Wilthin increased fructose contents of `Ultra Gold'. Accel increased fruit firmness of `Royal Gala', `Ultra Gold', and `Blushing Golden' and increased fruit firmness of `Royal Gala'.
unfavorable weather during bloom, growers should be afforded another opportunity for thinning during the young fruitlet stage. In Europe, ethephon is used as a flower thinner for biennial-bearing apple trees; however, it has been shown to be risky because it
Airblast spray applications of ammonium thiosulfate (ATS) were made to individual peach trees in a single row or to small blocks 5 rows wide and 10 trees long to determine if drift from adjacent rows increased bloom thinning. Increased flower thinning was found in the center row of the 5-row-wide-block when compared by regression analysis to applications made to trees in a single row. Ethylene-bisdithio-carbamate (Zineb 78WP) was used to determine the amount of spray deposit contributed by airblast sprays to adjacent rows. Airblast spraying of peach trees in full bloom contributed chemical deposits to peach flowers in the adjacent row equal to 43% of that deposited on the sprayed row, and 26% to the second row removed.
Prohexadione calcium applied as a series of three applications starting soon after petal fall to `Fuji'/M.9 apple trees reduced the number of pruning cuts, pruning time, pruning weight per tree, current season's shoot length, individual shoot weights, and increased number of nodes on the lower 40 cm of shoots. Fruit diameter, soluble solids, starch, or individual fruit weights were not affected by Apogee sprays. Fruit color and firmness were slightly increased in only one experiment. Growth suppression appeared to be greater on trees cropping more heavily. When trees were more heavily thinned, less shoot growth control was achieved. Apogee applied at 250 mg/L in three applications caused a significant increase in fruit set when compared to the control. Alone Vydate, Carbaryl+Oil, or Carbary+Accel+Oil caused fruit thinning, but neither ethephon nor shading 3 days caused significant thinning. Apogee did not influence results of chemical thinners when applied between the first and second Apogee applications. The 10% and the 27.5% Apogee formulations gave similar shoot growth inhibition when applied with Regulaid or Oil+Silwet L-77. When using hard water (well water), the 27.5% Apogee formulation was not as effective as the 10% formulation. The 10% Apogee formulation has more NH4SO4 than the 27.5% formulation w/w; NH4SO4 is used to prevent inactivation of Apogee by calcium and other cations when hard water is used for spraying. The addition of CaCl (frequently used to reduce bitter pit and corkspot disorders) to the 27.5% Apogee formulation caused poorer growth control than with hard water alone. When Apogee was used at 125 mg/L, the addition of NH4SO4 restored the effectiveness of the hard water+CaCl mixture. Alone the additives NH4SO4, Ca Cl, Regulaid, and/or Oil plus L-77, had no effect on tree growth. Apogee plus L-77+Oil provided additional growth suppression when compared to Apogee+Regulaid. In 1998, three applications of Apogee (63 mg/L) or ethephon (135 mg/L) did not affected shoot growth of `Fuji'/M.9 trees at these low rates. Combinations of Apogee and ethephon gave good control of tree growth. Flowering and fruit set were not promoted by any of these applications.
on green peach fruit thinning in pillar growth habit peach trees; to compare the effect of a mechanical string blossom thinner at two bloom stages with a mechanical spiked-drum canopy shaker for green peach fruit thinning, and three chemical blossom
key component in influencing flower bud formation and achieving return bloom. The first chemical thinners were caustic materials that burned flowers thus achieving thinning by preventing set of a percentage of the fruit on a tree. The first hormone