Ethephon promotes fruit abscission and accelerates harvest of macadamia, Macadamia integrifolia (Proteaceae), but has limited use due to concerns that associated abscission of inner-canopy leaves may reduce subsequent yield and nut quality. Yield and quality were monitored for 2 years following ethephon application to both unshaken and mechanically shaken trees of the late-abscising cultivar, A16. Nut quality was not adversely affected in subsequent seasons, but effects on yield varied. In 3 of 6 experiments, ethephon reduced yield in the year after application. However, in 4 of the 6 experiments, 2 years of ethephon application greatly elevated yield in the third year. This was not a compensating recovery from low second-year yield, as third-year yield of trees that received only 1 ethephon treatment did not differ from yield of control trees. Ethephon-assisted harvest remains feasible for macadamia, although further work is warranted given the potential risks and considerable benefits for subsequent yield. Inner canopy defoliation, resulting from ethephon use, could represent a canopy management technique for dense-canopy fruit trees.