[NAFEX] Questions about using Carbaryl (Sevin) to drastically thin apples.

Steve sdw12986 at aol.com
Fri Jun 12 21:13:30 EDT 2009

It's pretty easy to find info on the web about thinning apples with 
Sevin. I think there is even information about that on my container of 
Sevin. I have a couple of questions beyond the normal use and I wonder 
if anyone here has answers for me.

1. Can Sevin be used to thin just one part of a tree? In other words, 
does it work mostly where you spray, or does the spray stress the entire 
tree, causing fruit drop even on areas with little or no spray contact?

2. Is it possible to purposely cause a nearly 100% drop of fruit? I have 
a tree that I would love to have drop all the developing fruit. This is 
a tree I asked about, here, over a year ago. It has damage to the bark 
near the ground so that it is partly girdled.* Due to that damage, it 
puts on little vegetative growth but flowers profusely. It is loaded 
with small apples. Most are only the size of a pea right now. Some are 3 
times that size. The reason for this size difference is that I have 
grafted different varieties to this tree. The early bloomers are bigger. 
Since I have been working on this multi graft tree for years, I hate to 
just cut it down and start over. Obviously, I'm thinking that removing 
all fruit would relieve it from the stress of fruit bearing and maybe 
help it recover.
I figure time is against me right now. The apples are getting bigger and 
it has been cool. Even now, the forecast is for barely 70 degrees and I 
believe apples thin better if it is warm.

Steve in the Adirondacks (zone 4a on the maps, colder most years)

*(Most replies to that post figured it was borer damage. After watching 
the tree for over a year, I saw no evidence that borers caused the 
trouble. Certainly, no borers entered the actual wood. The post was used 
in a recent issue of Pomona. I was going to say which issue and page. I 
would have sworn it was either the Winter of Spring 2009 issue  but 
after looking carefully, I don't see it anywhere.)

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