Any chemical or mechanical way to remove all the blooms from 800 dwarf apple trees? I had a huge fireblight infection last year and had to chop the trees up to remove the blight, The Apple doctor from NC State advised me to force the two and three year old trees to produce more growth and get back on track by thinning all the fruit after it is set. I would prefer to remove the blooms rather than wait for the fruit to set since the blooms provide an entry point for more blight, Even after the copper spray, I expect a lot of blight carry over from last year. I know how to thin the fruit with chemicals, but can I remove the blooms with chemicals? I used a toilet brush to remove the blooms from my peach trees when they were young, but this method does not work well on the apples. Too many apple tree to remove the blooms by hand. Any idea?
Doesn’t sound possible to me. I think you’d have to kill the tree to take off blossoms.
I read this article in Good Fruit Grower. One statement caught my eye: " many apple growers use lime sulfur to thin their crop during bloom. Lime sulfur is toxic to the fire blight pathogen and also lessens the potential for infection by reducing the number of flowers. "
Although lime sulfur may not get rid of all the flowers but it is supposed to help reduce fire blight infection. It’s a kill two birds with one stone deal to me. .
Although the article seems to mention the Northwest growers, I’ve found the whole article interesting.
Here’s the whole article.
Very interesting article.
I used lime sulfur on my blackberry several weeks ago and I can still smell it in the field. Its some stinky stuff!