‘Jonathan’ apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) trees at three commercial orchards were sprayed one to eight times with calcium chloride (CaCl2) solution containing 3.2 g/L, starting when apple sizes were between 0.9 and 1.6 cm average diameters. Apples were stored for two and four months in regular atmosphere storage at 2°C (36°F). Fruit firmness, ratio of soluble solid concentrations to titratable acidity (SSC/TA), and fruit red skin color during the two storage periods and fruit weight after four-month storage were determined. Apples stored for two months had better quality than those stored for four months. Depending on the location, five to eight CaCl2 applications and two to seven applications were necessary to retain an average of 26% of fruit firmness and an average of 35% of the SSC/TA, respectively, in the two-month storage. At least seven applications were required to retain an average of 29% of fruit firmness of apples stored for four months. Six to seven applications of CaCl2 retained fruit weight by 22 to 33% more than the non-treated control apple. Fewer CaCl2 applications were required to sustain fruit skin color during storage than to maintain fruit firmness or fruit weight after two months of storage. Two-month stored apples from Topeka, Conway Springs, and Emporia that were treated with two applications of CaCl2 were 33, 27, and 17% redder than the control, respectively. In general, CaCl2 was beneficial for storage quality of ‘Jonathan’ apples in Kansas. Between six to seven preharvest applications of CaCl2 were necessary to retain quality of ‘Jonathan’ for a short-term regular storage, whereas, more than eight applications should be considered for long-term storage.
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Vol. 108 • No. 3