The influence of endothal and 6-benzyladenine on crop load and fruit quality of red 'Delicious' apple
Bound, SA, The influence of endothal and 6-benzyladenine on crop load and fruit quality of red 'Delicious' apple, Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 76, (6) pp. 691-699. ISSN 0022-1589 (2001) [Refereed Article]
Trial work over a two year period examined the aquatic herbicide endothal as a blossom thinner in conjunction with 6-benzyladenine (CyLex™) as a post-bloom thinner. The aim was to develop an effective thinning programme using endothal and CyLex™, to examine any interactions between the two chemicals, and to assess the impact of endothal on fruit quality. Time of application of endothal was shown to be critical in achieving a satisfactory level of thinning. Multiple applications of lower chemical rates were also successful, and may have potential to provide an effective programme for cultivars with long flowering periods, which are traditionally most difficult to thin. Addition of a surfactant to the spray mix significantly increased the thinning effect of endothal, resulting in severe over-thinning. This work has demonstrated that endothal is an effective thinner of red 'Delicious' apples. It is most effective when applied twice during the blossom period, the first application at 20% bloom and the second at 80% bloom. There is no advantage in increasing the concentration above 1.0 cm 3 dm -3 (v/v). Endothal can also be effectively combined in a programme with the post-bloom thinner CyLex™ applied at 150 mg l -1 at a spray volume of 1200 l ha -1 . Addition of CyLex™ to the spray programme has the added benefits of increasing fruit weight and size. Fruit sugar content and firmness were both increased by application of endothal. The greater the number of applications the higher the firmness and sugar content of the fruit. Both these findings are additional benefits to the thinning effect. Both pip number and fruit length/diameter ratio were slightly reduced by endothal. Cylex and some endothal treatments increased the incidence of fruit russet.