"King Fruit" - why do we remove it?

Hi folks,
I was always taught to thin out fruit during the late spring/earl summer, in order to get fewer but better fruits.
But why do we have to take out the King fruit, the central one? I' talking particularly about apples here.
Logically (yes, I'm old enough now to rebel against what I've bee taught!) shouldn't that be the one that stays?
Any theories, anyone
-- Rachel Aitch
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On 11/17/06 10:03 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@gardenbanter.co.uk,

I never heard of this king fruit concept.
Bill
-- Fermez le Bush
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King Fruit? Enlighten us....

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Actually I thought the "King Fruit" was Michael Jackson, but not sure if taking him out would produce fewer but "better" fruits.
I couldn't resist.

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Tominama Wrote:

Thank you for that lovely image!
-- Rachel Aitch
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----- Original Message ----- From: "Rachel Aitch"
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 11:03 AM, Subject: "King Fruit" - why do we remove it?

Apple blossoms occur in groups of five. The first and largest is the king blossom. We do not remove the king but remove all of the others instead. The reason is to concentrate the sugars in a single and the largest blossom so it will produce the largest fruit. If the king is removed and the others allowed to fruit there will be more, but smaller, apples and it will also be necesssary to do more thinning.
Olin
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Olin wrote:

That's right. I don't usually remove flowers but when I thin apples, I leave the king fruit. That's how it's done, as far as I know. The king fruit is at the center of the cluster and the smaller ones form a circle around it.
Steve
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Back to the original question about why would you take out the king fruit and leave the others? The only reason I can think of is it might increase total yield if the fruit is to be used for processing (apple sauce, apple butter, cider, vinegar, etc.) instead of eating it raw,
Olin
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There might be one exception to always leaving the 'king fruit'. I always first examine the king to see if there are any signs of attack. If so, I will initially thin down to the cleanest and best two of the remaining cluster, while the apples are still quite small. When they reach about the size of a quarter, I do a final reduction to just one fruit. I sometimes leave two fruits on a cluster by examining the total 'load' on any given branch and judging if this will overload the energy delivery system. I can't say that for all varieties of apple that the king fruit is always much bigger than one it's smaller neighbors. I have no scientific backing on this, but base this on observations.
Sherwin D.
Olin wrote:

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