Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Manual Defoliation of Apples in Sub-Tropical Climates

Apple: "The main technique employed in tropical climates that don't meet chilling requirements is manual defoliation of the leaves. By seasonally pruning off all of the leaves on a tree, the apple is fooled into believing that natural defoliation has occurred due to winter, which causes chemical hormone changes in the plant that lead to the onset of flowering. The method is simple, but effective, and if done properly can yield 2-3 crops per year. In rarer cases, less-tropical apple varieties that have higher chilling requirements can be grafted onto the 'tropical' apples and through defoliation, can be coaxed into fruiting."

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