The low fruit set is one of the main factors leading to poor yield of pear orchards in Brazil. Ethylene is associated with abscission of flowers and fruitlets. Then, the application of ethylene synthesis inhibitors, such as AVG, is a potential tool to increase fruit set of pears. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of AVG, sprayed at different rates and timings, on fruit set, yield and fruit quality of ‘Rocha’ pear. The study was performed in a commercial orchard located in the municipality of São Joaquim, SC, during the growing seasons of 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. Plant material consisted of ‘Rocha’ pear trees grafted on quince rootstock ‘BA29’. AVG was tested at different rates (60 mg L-1 and 80 mg L-1) and timings [full bloom, one week after full bloom (WAFB), and two WAFB), either alone or in combination. The experiment was arranged in a randomized block design, with at least five single-tree replications. The fruit set, number of fruit per tree, yield, estimated yield, fruit weight, return bloom, and fruit quality attributes were assessed. Fruit set and yield were consistently increased by single applications of AVG at 60 and 80 mg L-1 at both one and two weeks after full bloom, without negatively affecting fruit quality attributes and return bloom.
Pyrus communis; plant growth regulators; ethylene inhibitor; fruit drop; fruit quality