Fruit Thinning and its Methods
Fruit thinning refers to the removal of some portion of fruit crop from the tree before its maturity in order to improve the general size and quality of the remaining crop.
Objects of Thinning:
The broad objectives of thinning are as follows:
i) Fruit thinning is necessary where fruit production is taken for processing and canning or for table purpose of fancy trade.
ii) It improves the size of remaining fruits on the tree and increases the marketable yield.
iii) It helps in maintaining the vigour and productivity of the tree over a longer period.
iv) It reduces the cost of picking and handling of the crop at harvest, by reducing the number of pickings of fruits from the tree.
v) It improves the final colour, eating and keeping quality of fruits.
vi) It reduces limb breakage of the tree.
Methods of Thinning:
Normally two methods are followed for thinning of fruits.
i) Hand Thinning:
In this operation, start thinning first by shaking the branches highly to dislodge some of the fruits which are likely to drop off naturally. If there is still surplus fruit, then start thinning, from top to the bottom of the branches. Hold the stem, of the fruit to be removed between thumb and second finger and pull it off gently. The main point to be kept in mind while thinning is to remove all the small, under sized, miss happen insect or disease attacked fruits.
The job of thinning by hands can bed one more efficiently be employing women or young boys and girls with a little training and supervision as compared it the stiff fingered persons engaged in hard work.
ii) Chemical Thinning :
Ethephon, Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and saving are used as chemicals for thinning in different fruits. These chemicals are applied at full bloom stage. In the use of chemicals, the time and rate of application are very critical. In peach, Ethephon @ 200 – 300 ppm is applied 30 – 40 days after full bloom, whereas Naphthalene acetic acid @ 25 – 50 ppm is applied 15 – 20 days after full bloom. Planofix sprayed at full bloom period (75% flowering) of peach @ 25 ppm is effective in a flower thinning in flordasun and Shan – I – Punjab varieties. Information about chemical thinning in different fruit is mare and the not reviewed here is detail.