strange things growing on apple tree branch

thedarkness(5)February 17, 2013

so a few days ago i was looking at my young tree, and saw some small sticks coming out of the branches, which werent there a few days before. today i looked, and they were double the size. i was just wondering if these are new branches forming, or what. thanks for the help!

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thedarkness(5)

oops wrong pic sorry,
its the same tree though

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:07PM
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thedarkness(5)

in the first pic, this is the branch reaching out to the left

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:10PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

Looks like fruit spurs! A sign that your tree has reached maturity and is going to produce a ton of apples for you this season, assuming you have another apple tree around to pollinate it. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:15PM
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thedarkness(5)

if another apple tree is say withint 50 yards of this one, will it polinate? and all over the neighborhood, say a block or two away, are crab apples and apples everywhere so i can walk down the street grab an apple and by time im done theres another tree so i can get another, will these be enough or do they need to be in close proximity?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:18PM
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thedarkness(5)

if another apple tree is say withint 50 yards of this one, will it polinate? and all over the neighborhood, say a block or two away, are crab apples and apples everywhere so i can walk down the street grab an apple and by time im done theres another tree so i can get another, will these be enough or do they need to be in close proximity?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:20PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Yes, those will pollinate your trees. The bees will visit them all enough for pollination.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:16PM
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thedarkness(5)

could i try hand pollinate or would that be useless? also on side note if i graft a another apple branch on it wqould they polinate each other?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:40PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Hand pollination with a small artist brush works well. I just finished my 2nd or 3rd run today over my greenhouse pluot. You could also graft in another variety. They don't all pollinate each other but most will. Watch this spring which bloom at the same time. That's a good start on cross pollination.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:16PM
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thedarkness(5)

i meant would it be worth it with so many crab/apple trees in the area, or if it would benefit at all. do you know the approx time that would take to pollinate half of the flowers by hand?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:18PM
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don555(3a)

On a tree that size I think you'd be nuts to hand pollinate. The bees and other insects will do the job just fine. No need for a graft for pollination, but it can be fun so that you get two kinds of apple from the same tree. Just be careful of your source of grafting material -- I made some grafts by snipping off a few short end pieces of branches from apples that were growing over back alleys and such, and ended up introducing apple scab to my previously healthy trees.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:17PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

The bees will do the job and for free. They won't thin and that's the usual issue. If not thinned enough early on you may end up with biennial bearing, fruit every other year.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:22PM
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thedarkness(5)

fruit nut, what do you mean by thining? should i cut some out? i have already clipped off the inward facing ones becaus at first thought i believed they were new branches.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:30PM
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don555(3a)

He means thinning the fruit once it has set, NOT cutting off the fruit spurs. Apples tend to set fruit very heavily, then drop some when the apples get about grape size. Some varieties don't drop nearly enough fruit and end up loaded with apples, exhausting the tree so that the following year the tree takes a rest and sets little to no fruit. I have a September Ruby tree that does that...when it was shorter I could thin the fruit... I actually had to cut off 2/3 of the young fruit or the tree would end up too loaded and the apples were small and branches could break. Now that the tree is tall I can't thin the fruit very easily, so one year I'm drowning in apples, the next year I get very few, then loaded the following year, etc.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:20PM
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thedarkness(5)

thanks don for clearing that up- im getting a golden delicous scion or two from my cousin, and tips for grafting would be appreciated

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:33PM
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thedarkness(5)

update on the tree, I trained a few branches to go horizontal, then there were too many fruits so I had to tie them up, I used fabric strips.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 7:16PM
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