Pg. 4-7 Litchi Phenology and Physiology

In order to obtain and maintain peak production and good quality fruit, correct amounts of nutrients for fruit trees should be applied during optimum periods. The uptake and distribution of micro- and macro-elements in a litchi tree alters during the different phenological stages of the tree and an understanding of these processes would provide valuable information about the time and rate of nutrient application required by a healthy and productive tree. The annual macro-nutrient requirement for a five-year-old litchi tree is 98.03 g nitrogen, 23.47 g phosphate, 123.1 g potassium, 110.32 g calcium and 39.23 g magnesium. 

Growth inhibitors were sprayed at the start of the second vegetative flush. Ethephon significantly increased flowering and also brought about significantly earlier flowering. In contrast, Sunny slightly delayed flowering but this delay was not significant. Pruning also delays flowering and this delay was significant. Calcium trials were started during the 1998/99 season and will be reported on during the next season when the results have been obtained. The aim of the trial is to improve post-harvest quality and investigate the effect of calcium on fruit size and yield.

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