What is the role of calcium in apple production?

Calcium activates enzymes and is essential for cell division, elongation, and fruit growth. It stabilizes and ensures permeability of the cell wall, protecting it from degradation by enzymes.

As a result, fruits with high levels of calcium are firmer and the skin and flesh is less liable to breakdown disorders with reduced leakage through cell wall membranes. Thus, good calcium supply delays ripening and increases storability of fruits.

Stage Calcium effect
Bud Burst – Start of Flowering Boost root and leaf growth and high yields
Fruit Set to Fruitlet at 30mm Maintain good fruit quality and minimize fruit disorders
Fruit Fill – Maturity Maintain good fruit firmness and storage quality
Post Harvest Maintain high levels in the tree

Calcium deficiencies in apples

Calcium is immobile in the phloem and can’t be remobilized from older tree tissues, so youngest leaves are the first to show symptoms, becoming chlorotic. New growth becomes stunted and fruit yield may be reduced.

Crop quality also deteriorates with reduced firmness and increased incidence of physiological disorders such as cork spot, sunscald and bitter pit.

Apple fertiliser and crop nutrition advice
Apple fertiliser and crop nutrition advice

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