Various studies in literature indicate that flower induction in litchi is solely triggered by temperature differences.
However, reducing soil moisture by withholding water in autumn and early winter to levels below the water requirements of the trees can assist them to enter a rest period, especially in warm areas where high soil moisture would cause trees to flush continuously and in doing so prevent good flower formation. But a prolonged withholding of water could also lead to unnecessary stress to the trees. Furthermore, the use of Ethepon®, an ethylene releasing compound, to burn-off unwanted flush in autumn has more and more become an important management tool for good flowering.
How do all these management practices fit together, what role does the timing of withholding water play and is withholding water in autumn still necessary if Ethapon® can control autumn flushing efficiently on its own?
In 2009 a new trial was started in an attempt to give answers to these questions. Trial details and first observations