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Apple trees can produce plenty of fruits in the first two years of planting. If kept on the tree until harvest, these fruits would have a negative effect on tree growth and structure. Defruiting newly planted and young apple trees (e.g., 2nd and 3rd leaf), particularly those on dwarfing rootstocks, allows the trees to fill their allotted bearing space and become structurally capable of bearing a decent crop by the fourth and fifth year. Although defruiting can be achieved manually by removing flower clusters and small fruitlets, several chemical options can make defruiting much faster and less labor-intensive. This publication aims to provide information about the rates and application timing of chemical materials apple growers can use to effectively defruit young trees.
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April 14, 2022