Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 89
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FRUIT PRODUCTION RESEARCH 89
ness of fruit thinning sprays. Under conditions highly favorable to
successful pollination, higher concentrations of NAA were needed to
adequately thin the fruit of apple trees than were ordinarily expected.
Concentrations of 40 and 60 parts per million (p. p. m.) of NAA applied
18 and 26 days, respectively, after full bloom, thinned the young
fruits more satisfactorily than did concentrations of 10 and 15 p. p. m.
applied at full bloom and petal-fall, respectively.
Further evidence that proper timing of chemical sprays used in
fruit thinning is very important was presented by the Maryland station.
Concentrations of NAA that gave good results when applied 16
to 24 days after full bloom to York and Stayman apple trees proved
inadequate when applied earlier. NAA has proved so promising in
station investigation as an apple-thinning agent that the station estimated
that Maryland growers would treat between 2,000 and 3,000
apple trees with NAA in the spring of 1953. None of four chemical
thinners tested by the Maryland station had any harmful effect on
the cracking of Stayman apples.
Further evidence that NAA is gaining wide favor as a thinning
agent for apples is shown in a statement from the Michigan station
that nearly one-half of all the commercial growers in the State use
this chemical for thinning fruit.
The Idaho station explored the use of chemical sprays for thinning
of peach flowers and fruit. Elgetol (sodium dinitro-ortho cresolate)
appeared impractical because the amount of bloom varied widely
among different trees in a single orchard. NAA applied 4 weeks after
bloom resulted in fair to good thinning, but the optimum concentration
of the chemical varied with varieties.
Late Elberta was thinned satisfactorily at a considerably lower concentration
than J. H. Hale or Rio Oso Gem peaches. Because of these
variable responses the station was not able to issue any general recommendations
to peach growers.
Of two chemicals--maleic hydrazide and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic
acid-tested by the Florida station for thinning pecans, the
latter gave good results with the Moneymaker variety. Where heavy
thinning occurred nut weight was increased about 10 percent, but the
percentage of kernel was not improved.
No subject has more universal interest to fruitgrowers than new
varieties. This is understandable, particularly with tree fruits for
which no returns are received for several years. Only the best of
varieties should be planted and, even then, there is a chance that better
new kinds may appear in the interval between setting the trees and the
production of fruit. A few examples of recent fruit introductions are
The Crandall apple, developed by the Illinois station from a cross
between Rome Beauty and Jonathan and introduced to the public in
1952, is a red winter-type apple desirable for dessert and cooking.
Commercially acceptable apples with immunity to the apple scab
fungus is the goal of a cooperative study by the Illinois, Indiana,
and New Jersey stations. A modified backcross program is being
followed to combine the scab resistance of certain small-fruited apple
species with the desirable horticultural characters of commercial vari
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/91/: accessed February 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.