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Defoliated atis bears fruit early

March 14, 2010

Agri Plain Talk


March 10, 2010, 1:52pm

Total defoliation of custard apple, a member of the atis family, really works wonders. The defoliated tree bears fruit much ahead of the normal bearing season. This is one of the practical farming techniques that was observed by participants of the AANI Farm Tour when they visited the Teresa Orchard & Nursery in Teresa, Rizal, last Sunday.

All the leaves of the four-year-old custard apple tree that originally came from Taiwan were removed with the use of a pair of scissors by our lady farm worker on December 10. The tree was full of leaves then.

Way before the defoliation, we saw to it that the tree was adequately fertilized with organic as well as complete inorganic fertilizer. It was also watered every day if it did not rain. Fortunately, we have abundant water in our farm.

After just one month from defoliation, new leaves and flowers started to emerge. All along, we had to sustain watering so that the developing flowers will not wilt. There were thousands of flowers but of course, there was only a small percentage that developed into fruits. That’s understandable because the tree has to shed off the flowers or fruits that it can’t adequately support. As of last Sunday, there were at least 40 developing fruits of different sizes. Some are still as big as pullet eggs but there are some that are bigger.

Besides the daily watering, the tree is sprayed with organic foliar fertilizer (Advance brand) every week. This seems to be working very well. We have also installed two mineral water bottles sprayed with Supernet, a new product that attracts fruitflies and other insects. A lot of fruitflies and some other insects have been caught by the Supernet-sprayed bottles.

The technique of inducing atis to bear fruit early by total defoliation is not really new. We remember that as early as the mid-1960s the late Prof. Gregorio Lugod of UP Los Banos was practicing this technique in his backyard planting of atis. He was able to produce fruits that ripened in April.

One Comment leave one →
  1. artelauria permalink
    October 29, 2010 11:55 am

    Could the defoliation be done on months other than December? I appreciate your reply.

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