Among my small illustrative posts, especially important during periods of heavy workload, and in order to keep the blog active, here's one I do, almost by accident, after finding some trees that have not been thinned.
This is just to illustrate the importance of the work done, in case the previous post on the subject (No. 13) was not clear.
If the farmer dedicates many hours of work, with a high cost, is that there is a reason.
The thinning time varies according to the crops and varieties, depending on weather conditions during flowering, and according to the market purpose of the company.
Some species self-regulate their charge very well, as is the case, for example, of cherry or citrus, although there are some exceptional situations, others, on the contrary, require the intervention of the farmer, as in the case of apple or peach.
In the later case, and with the same objective, the working time can vary from about 100 hours to over 500 hours per hectare. It is the second biggest activity, in time and cost, after harvest.
When thinning is done, the fruits grow in a target of size and quality. The choice of the intensity of work is done according to the variety, to the tree strength, to their health status and the purpose of production and quality.
When thinning is not done, the fruits are too numerous, too tight, do not grow, deform, and are not of good quality.
The tree, depending on its leaves volume, has a certain ability to produce the nutrients necessary for the formation of the fruit and its good feeding. If fruits are too numerous, they are fed by the same elements, because the plant can not produce more, and the quality decreases.
It is generally considered that a peach tree, to make a quality production, must have between 15 and 20 adult leaves per fruit.
Thinning therefore aims to maintain this balance.