Chemical Pruning of Plants

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Sep 1966:
Vol. 153, Issue 3742, pp. 1382-1383
DOI: 10.1126/science.153.3742.1382


The lower alkyl esters of the C8 to C12 fatty acids and the C8 to C10 fatty alcohols selectively kill or inhibit the terminal meristem without damaging the axillary meristems, foliage, or stem tissue of a wide variety of plants. The axillary meristems develop at nearly the same time as those of plants whose terminal meristems have been removed manually. The concentration of the fatty acid esters and alcohols required to kill the terminal meristem range from 0.025 to 0.05M for herbaceous plants, 0.05 to 0.16M for semi-woody plants, and 0.16 to 0.27M for woody plants.