Performance of ‘Fuji Suprema’ apple trees treated with budbreak promoters, in São Joaquim-SC
Abstract The application of rest breaking agents to overcome the lack of chilling is a common practice in apple orchards in southern Brazil. However, its necessity in areas of greater chilling accumulation, like in the city São Joaquim, Santa Catarina State (SC), has been questioned over the years. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different budbreak promoters, on the performance of ‘Fuji Suprema’ apple trees, in the region of São Joaquim/SC. The study was performed at the Experimental Station of São Joaquim - Santa Catarina Agricultural Research and Extension Agency (EPAGRI), in the growing seasons of 2013/2014, 2014/2015, and 2015/2016. Plant material consisted of 10-year-old ‘Fuji Suprema apple trees grafted on the rootstock ‘M.9’ and arranged in a randomized complete block design with five replicates. Treatments consisted of a nutrient solution containing soluble nitrogen and calcium (NCaS), combined with either calcium nitrate or mineral oil, at different rates; and hydrogen cyanamide combined with mineral oil. The time of application was when buds were between the stages A (dormant bud) and B (swollen bud; silver tip). The influence of treatments on flowering, budbreak, yield components, and fruit quality was assessed. Flowering and fruit quality were little affected by treatments. In the other hand, the budbreak promoters consistently improved axillary budbreak in two out of three seasons.