How to Improve Apple Conservation by Reducing Bitter Pit
Bitter Pit is a physiological disorder, linked to a calcium deficiency in apples.
Symptoms: dark brown or black lesions, results of the breakdown of the cells under the skin, appear on the skin of the fruit only after harvest.
Calcium is not very mobile within the trees. Even though soil and leaves are correctly fed with this element, a deficiency can appear on fruits. This is especially true when the number of fruits is high and fruits are large, as calcium is diluted through the total amount of biomass.
Application of calcium on fruits during fruit growth can help reduce Bitter Pit. But, as the disorder is caused by calcium immobility in the tree, it is very important to stimulate the plant in its physiological activity to reduce Bitter Pit. Furthermore, when soil has sufficient calcium content, stimulating physiological activity helps maximize the transfer of calcium to the plant.
Varieties do not have the same sensitivity to this disease but an orchard’s management and fertility program have a huge impact on the development of the disease.