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Why has one of four 3yr old apple trees failed to show blossom this year ?

+2 votes

  The remaining three trees have all blossomed and are now showing fruit.  Maybe, as a point of interest, I should mention that they were bought late last Autumn and due to adverse weather conditions were planted in January of this year as 2-yr.old bare rooted trees on M27 rootstock.  This year each one has given 1/3 appples smiley   (including the one that has shown no blossom but now has a great deal of lush foliage). Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I has an explanation because I am at a loss to understand why this should happen - but then I'm a bit of a hit or miss gardener anywayfrown.

asked Jul 17, 2012 in Fruits and Vegetables by Bettyboop Newbie (170 points)
retagged Apr 11, 2013 by Scott Novell

2 Answers

+1 vote
One thing that would really help when asking a question would be if you mention your zone or location. I would guess that perhaps the apple tree did not get enough chill hours but I could be completely off base. I am also betting next year it will do much better as it has been in the ground longer. With new trees it is important to let them work on their roots first by removing blossoms and fruit the first year so hopefully all will be good next year.
answered Jul 17, 2012 by snovell Zen Gardener (7,380 points)
thank you Snovell.  I shall await with interest to see any new development either this year or next,
+2 votes

Hi Bettyboop (my that name's a leap into the memory!)

There could be a myriad of reasons why one of your apple trees failed to blossom. Are the three apple trees of the same variety? And of the same pollination group? Are they planted in roughly the same area?

A fruit tree will normally begin to bear fruit after it has become old enough to blossom freely. Nevertheless, the health of the tree and its environment, its fruiting habits and the cultural practices used can influence its ability to produce fruit. Adequate pollination is also essential to fruit yield (although your question suggests that it did not flower, rather than flowered and failed to bear fruit). If just one of these conditions is unfavorable, yields may be reduced or the tree may not blossom or bear any fruit at all. You can exercise some control over most of the factors contributing to failed fruit production.

Another factor is the age of the tree. Nursery-grown fruit trees are usually from one to two years old. The length of time from planting to fruit bearing varies with the type (or variety) planted. Trees growing at a moderate rate generally bear fruit sooner than those grown either too quickly or too slowly. Dwarf fruit trees usually begin to bear one to three years sooner than standard-size trees.

Finally, there's the question of whether it is a biennial fruiting variety. Occasionally certain fruit trees, such as apples, bear heavily one year and sparsely or not at all the next. This is called biennial bearing. The buds of most hardy fruit trees are set during the previous summer, and an especially heavy crop one year may prevent adequate bud formation for the following year. Biennial bearing is difficult to alter or correct. However, this does not appear to apply to you as I assume it is the first year after planting that you have expected a crop?

My advice? Exercise patience and don't start panicking and looking for problems or solutions that may not be present or required. Give your tree a few seasons to see what happens.

Gardening or fruit growing is NOT for the impatient Bettyboop!

answered Jul 18, 2012 by Big Gee Pro Gardener (2,920 points)