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Struggling Apple Tree

We moved into a house near Hartley Park last summer and were delighted when the apple tree in our new backyard produced basket after basket of fruit in the fall. This summer, though, we never saw the tree blossom, and while the leaves seem healthy, there are clearly no signs of apples. Any ideas what might have caused the lack of blossoms this year? We wondered if last winter was simply too tough on the tree, or if something else is wrong. Does anyone else know of apple (or other fruit) trees struggling this year? Any suggestions for a lawn/garden center or somewhere else to seek advice to ensure apples next year?

7 Comments

Sonya

about 3 months ago

There are some varieties of apples that only bear fruit every other year. Maybe you've got one of those.

edgeways

about 3 months ago

For what it's worth, we also live near Hartley and our apple tree is not happy this year either. It did have blooms and has some apples but is sickly looking this year and the crop is way down. Water it really good this fall, mark branches that look like they are dying so you can trim them in early spring, and consider fertilizing it pretty much when buds are starting in the spring.

Joel

about 3 months ago

No worries! I have three apple trees, and all bear fruit every other year. Last year two gave fruit, this year it's only one. The deer and mama bear seem to get most of the apples, and I never have to pick any off of the ground!

udarnik

about 3 months ago

Some apple and pear trees can get into a cycle of overproducing one year and not producing the next. Next year, when the tree blossoms, give it a good shake every day or so to make it drop blossoms/fertilized apple buds to help reset its production cycle.

Emerickson

about 3 months ago

Check to see if there is green lichen on the branches. I didn't notice that it had taken over one of my apple trees until it was too late. It causes the bark to fall off the tree and thus kills the tree, but isn't noticeable from a distance. I caught it in time on my other trees and have to spray them with fruit tree fungicide three times per year to keep the lichen at bay.

bluenewt

about 3 months ago

A lot of apple and crab apple trees suffered from late frosts this year, which can kill the flower buds and the leaf buds. If that's what happened, the tree will likely recover. But given what you've said about how abundant the crop was last year, the tree may just be resting this year. From Extension's site about apples : "[H]eavy crops can cause a phenomenon known as biennial bearing, in which a heavy crop is followed the next year by little or no crop. Fruit thinning can minimize biennial bearing."

pats

about 3 months ago

We have an apple tree in our yard that must be over 50 years old. It only flowers every other year, which I guess isn't unusual for some kinds of apple trees. See how it looks next year before you panic.

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