Thinning Season Pt 1

Thinning Season Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Another Spring has arrived and that means fruit orchards are buzzing with more than bees. It's a key time of the year for growers who want to maximize their production come harvest time.

Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission project manager, Tory Schmidt says it comes down to one major task ...

SCHMIDT ... "The most important thing they can do to directly effect those parameters related to crop-load management. And, at this time of year when we're talking about crop-load management we're really talking about thinning."

Schmidt says this is THE time for thinning ...

SCHMIDT ... "So, the best opportunity to affect the crop-load with a chemical application this timing around when you have an open bloom or shortly after bloom is open.

So, this is really kind of the key time for growers to take steps to manage their crops so that they can hopefully get a good return at the end of the season."

But, before that, Schmidt hopes growers have already taken care of the pruning ...

SCHMIDT ... "Once the tree then comes into bloom, usually there are far too many flowers that would set too many fruit for the tree to produce a good crop. The fruit would be too small. The quality would be poor. They wouldn't mature properly if they weren't thinned."

Schmidt says healthy trees usually pay off ...

SCHMIDT ... "Those trees will hide the number of fruit that are actually in there so it's really difficult to see that there's a lot more fruit in the tree than people realize"

Tune in tomorrow for more on the necessity of thinning and why the time is now!

BL: Welcome back to another "Fruit Bites" brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent's Allison Walston. And this week Allison, the fungus is among us ... so what are mycorrhizae?

AW: Mycorrhizae are fungi that develop a synergistic partnership with the roots of many plants. The fungus enhances the plant's root system to become more efficient at uptake of nutrients and water.

BL: What kinds of plants have the best relationships?

AW: New plantings of apples. My apple trial work shows increased growth; trunks and terminal shoots. It is visually impressive. This year I'm evaluating overwinter hardiness and yield.

BL: How do plants produce more?

AW: Just by having healthier, non-stressed plants. The two main benefits of mycorrhizae are helping uptake of micronutrients, like Phosphorous, and producing glomalin which improves the water holding capacity of soil.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I'm Bob Larson.

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