Pg. 5-8 Prevention of Alternate Bearing in Litchis

Alternate bearing is a major problem in litchi production and research aimed at stabilising production is of primary importance. One of the reasons for poor flowering is that premature development of buds in late autumn results in buds that are no longer responsive to cold-induced flower induction. This results in inconsistent flowering and yield. The manipulation of bud development during autumn to ensure bud growth during the cold winter period is therefore crucial. In this trail, the late autumn vegetative flush of ‘HLH Mauritius’ was chemically inhibited by the application of different growth inhibitors. These included Sunny®, Ethephon®, Cycocel® and a combination of Cycocel® and Ethephon®. Field observations indicated that the development of a vegetative flush could be inhibited during autumn by the application of growth inhibitors. The application of growth inhibitors resulted in a significant reduction in alternate bearing and ultimately higher and more stable yields.

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