Thinning is a cultural practice that leads to balance between fruit yield and quality. It is carried out in a short period of time and requires qualified workforce, whose shortage ends up increasing costs. This study aimed at evaluating the thinning effect of metamitron on peach trees at different periods of time after bloom. The experiment was carried out in a commercial orchard of ‘Sensação’ peach trees located in Morro Redondo, Rio Grande do Sul (RS) state, Brazil, in 2015-2016 crops. Treatments were the application of 200 mg L-1 metamitron, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 days after full bloom (DAFB), and manual thinning 40 DAFB. Fruit abscission, effective fructification, period of manual and chemical thinning, number of fruits and yield per plant, mean fruit mass and fruit caliber were evaluated. When metamitron was applied 40 DAFB, percentages of fruit abscission and fruit set, besides the number of fruits, were similar to the ones found when manual thinning was carried out. The intensity of the thinning effect of metamitron in peach trees depends on the application period.
Prunus persica; fruit set; fruit abscission; manual thinning.