New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.

Annual report of the Board of Control of the New York Agricultural ..., Issue 19 online

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compared with the num'ber which eet on typical branches not
sprayed in bloom.

Tabls XIII. — FBUXT-SxTmro oh Typical Bbakohes of PtiMPKm Sweet.

Spnyed once In Not »pra.yed in
Dloom. blofim.

Ko. Perot. Ko. Perot.

Whole number of clusters examined. ... 95 100

Clusters which set no fruit 82 86 74 74

Clusters which set 1 fruit 13 14 20 20

Clusters which set 2 fruits 5 5

Clusters which set 3 fruits 11

Average number of fruits per 100 clus-
ters on June 6 14 33

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/There waa very little froit produced en any of the Pampkin
Sweet trees whether they were sprayed in bloom or not The |

Baldwins produced considerable fruit, but not a good crop. I


In the orchards where trees were sprayed in bloom generaJ
observation at the blooming season and at various later periods
till the fruits were as large as cherries, and a comparison of trees
so treated with corresponding trees which were not sprayed in
bloom, forced the conclusion that much fruit was destroyed by
the treatment That the yield of the treated trees was not more
seriously diminished may be accounted for by the very great
abundance of the blossoms and by the fact that at no one time
were all of them open and in that stage when they are most
susceptible to injury. Under such conditions one treatment
during the blooming season, if properly made, could! not be
expected to cause the loss of a large percentage of the orop of
ripe fruit.

In the tests where the trees were sprayed repeatedly during
the blooming season so as to hit as many as jxossible of the new
blossoms which opened from day to day, but very few blossoms
survived the treatment and consequently but little fruit aet
This shows that the ordinary spray mixtures surely prevent the
setting of fruit when applied to the blossoms soon after they open.
If the tree should have a scant amount of blossoms it would seem
that serious loss might result from such treatment.

In some cases the spray mixture had a corrosive effect and
killed the tissues of the stamens and pistils. In other cases pis-
tils with particles of the spray mixture on the stigmatio cnirfaces
awaited fertilization for several days, apparently nnhannedf and
perfectly healthy, but eventually withered and died. A number
of blossoms were observed which showed particles of spray mix-
ture on the stigmatio surfaces, but none of these set fruit. It
appears therefore that in these cases the spray mixture inhibited

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New York Agricultural Experiment Station. 395

the process af feTtilization and thus eventually caused the death
of the entire bloBSom.

Blossomfl which had been open several days before they were
sprayed seem to have reached a stage where the treatment did
not check the progress of fertilization, and the fruit set as
abundantly as it did from corresponding blossoms which were
not sprayed.

The Structure of an Apple Blossom and the Process of

Settinq Fruit.

The following brief description of the structure of the apple
blossom and of the way in which it sets fruit may help some
readers to a clearer understanding of the subject.

When the fruit bud of the apple tree opens it releases a cluster
of blossom bud<8. Such clusters usually contain five or six blos-
som buds. The central one in the cluster is regularly the
strongest, opens first, and sets first. Its fruit has the beet
chance of hanging on through the period when the weaker of
the young fruits drop and of remaining till it ripens. Several or
even all of the blossoms in a cluster may set fruit, but, if any of
these pass successfully through the period when the young fruits
drop, generally only one or perhaps two of them are left to ripen.
Pig. 2, Plate LVII, shows a typical Baldwin cluster shortly after
the blooming season passed! and before the dropping of the
weaker fruits began. It shows clearly the superiority of the cen-
tral fruit in the cluster.

An apple blossom cut through the middle shows different parts
as illustrated in Pig. 12. The outer green portion which covers
the bud is the calyx. Where the blossom opens it turns back-
ward as shown at c. Pig. 12, and c, Fig. 13. It remains after the
fmit has developed as may be seen by examining the blocisom end
of a ripe apple. The showy white or pink tinned part of the
flower is the corolla. Its separate leaves are called petals, pt.
Pig. 12. If calyx an^ corolla be taken away it is still possible
for fruit to develop. These are therefore not the essential organe.
The essential organs are inside of the petals. They are the

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396 Bdpobt of thb Hobticui/tural Dbpartmbnt op ths

stamens and the pistil. The stamens, st^ Fig. 12, many in
nam'ber, are next to the petals. They are thread like organs
tipped with minute yellow saos which are filled with a very fine
yellow powder, the pollen. The pistil, p, Pig. 12, and p, Pig. 13,
is in this case a comi>onnd one. It occupies the very center of
the flower. It is onited below and separates above into five
green threads, which are known as styles. The enlarged tip of
the style is given a separate name, the stigma, and its rough,
sticky mirf ace is known as the stlgmatic surface, $, Fig. 12, and s.
Fig. 13. Figure 13 gives the appearance of the flower with the
petals and stamens ciit off so that the parts of the pistil may be
readily dktinguished.

The part which finally develops into fruit, o. Fig. 12, and o.
Fig. 13, called the ovary, has within the little egg cells called
ovules, ov, Fig. 12, and av, Fig. 13, which if the fruit sets, develop
into the seeds. If a typical ripe apple be examined five cavities
will be found in the core, each with two seeds. Likewise the
center of the ovary has five cavities each with the two ovules
ready to develop into seeds should they become fertilized, and
each directly connected with the particular one of the five styles
which is immediately above it. The stamens may be called the
male organs of the flower; the pistil, the female. In order that
the ovules may become fertilized the pollen which is produced
by the stamens must in some way reach the stigmatic surface of
the pistil. The pollen may be brought to the pistil by insects
which pass from flower to flower, or it may reach it in some other
way. The stigmatic surface of the pistil, when it is ready for
the pollen, becomes covered with a sticky fluid which easily
holds any of the pollen that happens to touch it. Within a few
hours after the pollen reaches the stigmatic surface under favor-
able conditions, it sprouts and sends out a pollen tube in a way
somewhat analogous to the sprouting of grain in warm, moist
eoil. Figs. 14 and 15 illustrate the germination of some
Amaryllis pollen. The pollen tube grows downward through
the soft tissues of the style till it reaches the ovule. From the
pollen tube there then passes into the ovule a substance which

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New York Agricultural Experiment Station. 397

stimulates it to growing into a seed, or in other words, which
fertilizes it. If fertilization does not take place there is no
further development and the entire flower withers and dies.

The essential organs of the flower are composed of very tender
tissues. It is not surprising that injury follows when they are
hit by spray mixtures. Neither is it strange that Bordeaux mix-
ture should prevent the growth of the pollen. Bordeaux mix-
ture eould not hold its position as a leading fungicide if it did
not prevent the growth of fungus spores. The germination of
a pollen grain is analogous to the germination of a fungus
spore. Fig. 14 illustrates pollen grains of an Amaryllis and Fig.
15 shows their appearance after they have germinated and begun
to send out the pollen tubes; Fig. 16 illustrates spores of a
8i>ecies of fungus which causes the carnation rust and Fig. IT
shows the same after they have germinated and sent out the
germ tubes. Since Bordeaux mixture is deadly to the one it
might reasonably be expected to have a similar effect upon the
other. That it does have such an effeet is demonstrated by
the experiments in the laboratory and in the orchard, an account
of which is given on the preceding pages.


In order to get some evidence as to the effect of spraying
apple trees in bloom upon the yield of fruit, and' also upon
injurious insects and plant diseases, as compared with spraying
when the trees are not in bloom, four bearing orchards were
sprayed in different parts of Western New York. These
orchards were so free from fungous troubles during 1900 that
no information was gained as to whether such diseases as the
apple scab may be best controlled by spraying in bloom but the
experiments did throw some light upon the effect on the yield,
of spraying in bloom, although they are not conclusive on this
point, as may be seen by the following account of the work.

Three of the orchards in which these experiments were con-
ducted are near Lake Ontario and one is on the upland about
five miles west of Seneca Lake. This arrangement was planned

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398 Bbpobt of thb Hobtioultural Dbpartmbnt of thb

so as to observe the effect of the treatment in widely separated
orchards and under differences of environment. These orchards
belong to the following named gentlemen: George H. Bradley &
Son, Lake Road, Niagara County; F. D. Gardner, Barker,
Niagara County; John B. CoUamer & Son, Hilton, Monroe
CJounty; Thomas B. Wilson, Hall's Corners, Ontario County.
These gentlemen put their orchards at the disposal of the
Station for the purposes of this investigation, and throughout
the season gave the work their cordial cooperation. Our thanks
are due to them for this and for many courtesies extended to
the representatives of the Station who conducted the experi-


In the orchard of Messrs. George H. Bradley & Son, Lake
Road, three rows of trees on the north side of the orchard were
included in the test. The accompanying plan gives an idea of
the relative position of the trees under experiment. Those
marked s were sprayed in bloom: corresponding trees which

^a a a a a a aaaaaaaaaaaaaa row 1

a o oo a o aaaaaaaaaaaaaa rovt 2

WEa o oa o o aaaaaaaaaaaaaa Row 8

■ ■ ■ a 8 8 aaaaaaaaaaaaaa row 4

s a a a a a a aaaaaaaaaaaaaa row 5

were not sprayed in bloom are marked o. The trees thus indi-
cated are all of the Hubbardston variety.

Treatment — In all treatments Bordeaux mixture, 1-to-lO
formula, and Paris green, 1 lb. to 160 gallons, were used. The
trees in Riows 2 and 3 were first sprayed in p&rt May 14 ; at this
time the blossom buds had appeared but no blossoms were open.
They were sprayed May 14 on one side and on the opposite side
May 21. On the latter date the buds were far enough along to
show the color of the flower but no blossoms were yet open
on these trees, although Oldenburg had been in bloom since
May 16.

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Nbw York Aoricultubal Expbrimbint Station. 399

On May 24 the blossoms were well open and the trees in row
4 were then sprayed very thoroughly so as to hit as many of
the open blossoms as possible. Immediately after the blossoms
had fallen, May 31, the trees in Row 2 and 3 were sprayed on the
west side only and on June 6 they were sprayed on the east side
only. The weather conditions did not appear to favor the
development of the scab fungus and no spraying was done after
this. The treatment given to these Hubbardston trees for the
season may be thus stated.

Rows 2 and 3 — sprayed just before blooming and just after
blooming. * , ^

Row 4 — sprayed juet after coming into full bloom.

Effect of the spray upon the open Uossoms. — Soon after the fruit
set a comparison of those trees which had been sprayed in bloom
with those not so sprayed showed very clearly that many blos-
soms had been killed by the spray. Although the bloom was so
abundant that the loss of these blossoms could not be expected
to make much difference in the yield of fruit yet at the close of
the season the record of the yield actually showed less fruit on
the average where the trees were sprayed in bloom than where
they were not.

With the assistance of Mr. Bradley the following estimate of
the amount of bloom on each tree was made May 24.

Row2t Not Aprayed Row 3: Not sprajed Bow 4: Sprayed In

in bloom. in hloom. " bloom.

No. 15 heavy. No. 15 heavy. No. 15 heavy.

No. 17 heavy. No. 16 medium. No. 36 medium.

No. 18 heavy. No. 18 heavy. ' No. 18 heavy.

No. 10 heavy. No. 19 heavy. No. 10 heavy.

No. 20 heavy.

An idea of the climatic conditions during the spraying season
in Niagara County at Lake Road as compared with those in
Ontario County at Geneva may be obtained from the following
table. The observations for Niagara County were made free of
charge by Mr. H. A. Van Wagoner, to whom our thanks are due
for this favor. The table shows the average of three daily read-
ings of maximum and minimum thermometer, relative humidity,

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and also the amount of rainfall at Lake Boad and Geneva for
7 weeks— May 12 to June 29.

Table XIV. — Pabtial Meteobolooicax. Recobd, Lake Road Ain>
Geneva, May 12-June 29.

T)^*- Average ATerage ATenige Total

juikx. min. bumldiij. raiulall.


Mayl2-18 71 48 76 0.33

May 19-25 69 45 63 0.02

May26-Junel 74 61 77 0.25

June 2-8 74 56 80 0.53

June 9-15 74 51 73 0.17

June 16-22 74 51 68 0.15

June 23-29 84 59 63 0.06


Average 74.3 51.4 71.4 1.51


Mayl2-18 76 51 65 0.72

Mayl9~25 70 48 56 0.00

May 26^une 1 78 48 63 0.62

June 2-8 80 55 67 0.65

June 9-15 77 50 61 0.11

June 16-22 80 54 53 0.05

June 23-29 88 60 53 0.14


Average 78.4 62.3 59.7 2.29

It ifl interesting to note that while the rainfall was greater at
Geneva the average humidity was decidedly less and the tem-
perature was higher and subject to somewhat greater extremes
at this place than it was at Lake Road.

The conditions during the summer remained favorable to the
healthy development of foliage and fruit except that the drought
was severe. High winds at different times, and especially the
wind storm of September 11 and 12, caused the loss of a con-
siderable amount of fruit.

Yield of fruit — In order to get as accurate a record as possible
of the effect of the spraying in bloom upon the yield even the
windfalls which were unfit for any use were measured and the
record of the amount of this fruit for each tree was included in
making the statement of the total yield of fruit per tree. On

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New York Agricultural Experiment Station. 401

October 13, the crop of fruit was gathered. The picked fruit
was sorted into but two grades, namely barrel-fruit and culls.

The apples were quite free from scab and Insect injury. Some
fruits had been attacked by late brood codlin moth, but the
greater part of the culls consisted of apples which were too
small to barrel. It was very noticeable that there was a much
larger percentage of fruit too small to barrel in Row 4, which
had been sprayed in bloom, than from either Row 2 or 3 which
were not so sprayed. The fruit from Rows 2 and 3 averaged
so much larger in size that Mr. Frank Bradley estimated that it
would sell at from 25 cents to 50 cents more per barrel than the
fruit from Row 4. At the ruling prices this was a gain of from
20 per ct. to 40 per ct. in price in favor of the fruit from trees
not sprayed in bloom.

Why the fruit from the trees sprayed in bloom should in this
test grade smaller and in other tests grade larger than trees not
sprayed in bloom is not quite clear. Possibly because the spray-
ing was done at a time when it killed a large percentage of the
first blossoms to open. These are the strong, vigorous blos-
soms in the center of the cluster, which usually take the lead
in growth and which naturally may be expected to make the
largest fruit. Perhaps there were more small apples in Row 4
because next south of it in Row 5 stood large, thrifty Baldwin
trees. These Baldwins doubtless sent vigorous roots into the
soil, towards the Hubbardston trees and made it somewhat
more difficult for trees in Row 4 to get the material with which
to make large fruit than it was for the trees in Rows 2 and a
which were surrounded by trees much smaller than the Bald-

The following table shows the total yield for each tree.

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Table XV.— Total Yield of Hubbaedston Apple Trees.

Sprayod in bloom. Not iprajed in blooni.

Total number basbelt. Total number bni h aitb

Row 4: Bow 2:

Tree No. 15 13. Tree No. 15.,.. 13.25

IG 9.50 17.... 12.75

18 18.25 18.... 8.25

19...... 9.25 li>.... 23.75

20 14.75 Row 3:

Tree No. 15.... 8.60

16... • 10.75

18.... 12.25

19.... 19.00

■Average per tree.. 12.95 13.56

Average apparent gain for trees not sprayed in

bloom .61

In the following table the average amount per tree of the
different classes of fruit is shown for each of the treatments.

Table XVI. — ^Avebaoe Yield peb Tree of Graded Fruit from Hxjb-


ifot sprayed In bloom. Sprayed in bloon.
Average baehele per Average basheU per
tree. tree.

Total picked fruit 8.56 8.20

BarreUed fruit 7.50 6.60

<3ull8 1.06 1.06

Drops 6.00 4.75

Total yield per tree 13.56 12.95

The apparent average loss per tree from spraying in bloom
was nine-tenths of a bushel of marketable fruit, but including
all grades it was only six-tenths of a bushel. With trees stand-
ing 30x30 feet apart, making 48 trees per acre, the loss of mar-
ketable fruit at this rate amounts to 43 bushels per acre. This
fruit would have readily sold at picking time for $1.25 per barrel
so that the apparent loss in yield might be conservatively esti-

* It should be noted that tree No. 18 of Row 2 was somewhat smaller than
the other trees under experiment: also tree No. 16 of Row 3 and tree No. 16
of Row 4 had but a medium amouDit of bloom. If these are excluded the
average yield per tree of those sprayed in bloom is 13.56 bushels and the
average per tree for trees not sprayed In bloom is 14.91 bushel per tree. In
this case the average for trees sprayed in bloom is 1.35 bushels per tree
4ess than for trees not sprayed in bloom.

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New York AoRicuLTuaAL ExPDRiMffiNT Station. 403

mated at $18 per acre. This is an item of much less importance
however, than the difference in the market value of the fruit
which, as before stated, Mr. Bradley estimated at 25 cents to
60 cents per barrel in favor of the trees not sprayed in bloom.
The average yield of the trees sprayed in bloom was 12.95
bushels. With 48 trees per acr^ this would amount to 621.6
bushels or 207.2 barrels per acre. A loss of 25 cents per barrel
on this number of barrels amounts to $51.80, which combined
with the apparent loss in yield of |18 makes the total loss in
this experiment at the lowest estimate about |70 per acre. This
estimate is presented here to show the apparent loss from spray-
ing in bloom in this particular test. It is given as simply. one
item of evidence bearing upon the general subject under investi-
gation. It is not supposed that it furnishes an accurate stand-
ard for estimating the probable loss from such treatment in
other localities and seasons. As stated before it is not clear
whether the fruit in Row 4 was smaller than that in Hows 2 and
3 because of the treatment or because of the location of the


bxpeeimuntdb at hllton.

In the orchard of Messrs. John B. Collamer and Son, Hilton,
Monroe County, several varieties were treated. These trees
were planted about 20 years ago and about 10 years ago were
top-worked. They average from 17 feet to 20 feet high and
stand 30 feet apart. Two trees of Oldenburg were sprayed in
bloom and two other trees which were selected as being as near
like these as possible were not sprayed in bloom. All of these
trees were sprayed alike on the west side May 4 before the blos-
soms opened, but after the leaf buds had opened, using Bor-
deaux mixture, 1 to 10, and sodium arsenite «it the rate of 1
pound of white arsenic to 200 gallons of the mixture, which is
equivalent to 1 pound of Paris green to 100 gallons.

The Oldenburg trees which were sprayed in bloom were
treated Saturday, May 19, about four days after the blossoms
began to open. After the blossoms, had fallen. May 29, the cor-
responding trees which had not been sprayed in bloom were

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4041 Rkpobt of thb Hortiotti/tubal Dispabthbnt of thb

sprayed on the east side only. Later they were sprayed on the
opposite side.

Three trees of Alexander, 6 of Twenty Ounce, 4 of Pumpkin
Sweet (commonly called Pound Stceet)^ 3 of Baldwin and 3 of
Hubbardston were similarly sprayed in bloom and an equal num-
ber of corresponding trees of the same varieties not sprayed in
bloom were compared with them.

Observations later showed that on the treated trees many
blossoms had been destroyed by the treatment. On the treated
Baldwin the fruit which had set generally developed either from
the very early or from the late blossoms. Plate LVII, Fig. 1,
shows a treated cluster in which no fruit has developed except
possibly one from a late, outside blossom. On corresponding
Baldwin trees which were not sprayed in bloom, not only had
the center blossom of the cluster generally set, but often two or
three or more of the other blossoms of the cluster had also set
fruit as shown in Table XII and illustrated by Fig. 2, Plate

These results indicate that at the time when the spraying was
done the earliest of these Baldwin blossoms were already too far
advanced and the latest were not open enough to be injured by
the spray, while the lately opened mid-season blossoms generally
succumbed to the treatment, probably because the process of
fertilization had not yet progressed far enough to place them
beyond danger from the poisonous effect of the spray mixture.
For a comparison of the number of blossoms which set on the
Baldwin and Pumpkin Sweet which were sprayed in bloom and
on the corresponding trees not sprayed in bloom, ©ee p. 893. On
the Oldenburg trees the earliest blossoms to open were generally
the ones which were killed by the spray; in many cases only the
center blossom of the cluster was killed. The fruit which set on
Oldenburg sprayed in bloom generally developed from the blos-
soms which opened in mid-season or later.

When the June drop of fruit occurred, Mr. Collamer reported
that he could see no difference between the trees sprayed in
bloom and those not so treated in the percentage of the fruit

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New Yobk Aqbioultubal ExFBEiUBEfr Station. 405

which dropped* The difference in the amount of fruit on trees
of Alex«Jider, Twenty OuB<!e and Oldenburg which were
sprayed in bloom and corresponding trees ot these varieties
which were not so treated was not great enough to be deter-
mined from inspection as late as August 16. The Oldenburgs
were picked August 21 and graded by Mr. OoUamer into three
grades as shown in his report which follows. No record was
kept of the drops, but the amount was relatively large when
<^ompared with the amount of picked fruit.

Table XYII. — ^Yield of Oldenbubo Apple Tbees.

liTot tpnTad in bloom. Spnyed in bloom.
Clua of f rait Yield in ponnds. Yield in pounds.

Total yield from 2 trees 267 227

No. 1, from 2 trees 176 or 66 per ct. 151 or 67 per ct

No. 2, from 2 trees 82or31 " 65or29 "

No. 3, from 2 trees 9or 3 " 11 or 4 "

Average yield of picked fruit per tree. 134 114

From this it appears that the average loss of picked fruit per
tree was 20 lbs., or about two-fifths of a bushel. It is but fair
to say that this variety, the Oldenburg, is not well adapted for
a test of the effect of spraying in bloom on the yield, because
the fruit does not ripen so that it can all be picked at once, and
consequently it is not easy to keep an accurate record of the
drops and of the different grades of marketable fruit.

Four trees of Pumpkin Sweet were sprayed in bloom, and four
corresponding trees were not sprayed in bloom. On August 16
the following notes on these trees were made:

Bow S, iprayed in bloom.

Tree 1.— No fruit on the tree.

Online LibraryNew York State Agricultural Experiment StationAnnual report of the Board of Control of the New York Agricultural ..., Issue 19 → online text (page 31 of 37)