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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Method for Removing Excess Flowers from Fruit-Producing Plants
See also: US Patent Office Full Record


Patent Number: 7635663
Docket Number: 1904
Serial Number: 11801622
Date Patented: 12/22/2009

Technology Description:  Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in West Virginia developed a technique for removing excess flower blossoms from fruit-producing plants, which allows the fruit to grow larger.  If all of the flowers are allowed to become fruit, the resulting crop would be excessively small and unmarketable.  Larger fruit commands a higher market price. This invention can increase crop market value, prevent limb breakage from excess fruit weight, and provide an environmentally sound approach to blossom thinning.  Hand thinning is often used, particularly in the peach industry—a tedious and time-consuming process.  Blossom thinners are used extensively in the West; however, chemical fruit thinning and hand thinning are expensive and may be ineffective. ARS’s method uses a natural product that is sprayed on fruit trees shortly after blossoming.   Flowers fall off shortly after contact.  This method may be acceptable for organic use.  Growers can spend $500 per acre to hand remove excess blossoms, costing more than $156,000,000 annually in the United States.   This technology could be used for apples, pears, peaches and other high-value fruit trees. At the present time, the fruit growing industry needs reliable thinners that are safe and have low environmental impact.  This technology addresses that need. ARS is seeking cooperative research partners to assist with small field trials, and to communicate the technology’s potential to growers. 


Reference:  Please refer to S.N. 11/801,622 (Docket #0019.04),which was filed on May 10, 2007.  Foreign patent rights are not available. 




Stephen S. Miller

Appalachian Fruit Research

Kearneysville, WV 25430

Phone:  (304) 725-3451

    Fax:  (304)  728-2340


Thomas Tworkoski

(Same as first inventor)

Phone:  (304) 725-3451

    Fax:  (304)  728-2340



Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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