Apple Tree Pollination

gardenermimiMarch 19, 2011

Hi: I live in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California and I think I am zone USDA 8a or 9 . I planted a Semi-dwarf Fuji apple tree, then uprooted it and moved it to a new location after a year. The first year, it gave a few small apples. The second year after the move, so far I have a ton of flowers but don't see much fruiting going on. We do have bees. I have two questions: is the tree on track? Do I need to do much else?

Second, I am thinking of planting a dwarf Arkansas Black apple tree that will need a pollinator. This new tree would be approx. 100-125 feet away from the Fuji as there are other trees near that one. Will this allow for enough pollination? We have several other fruit trees, vegetables and flowers in the yard and our bees are very happy. Thanks for any advice!

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alan haigh

Up here in NY state the bloom season is much shorter than further south so most varieties from early to late bloomers provide enough overlap for pollination to occur. Where you are you need another mid-season bloomer as is Fuji, and Ark Black fills the bill.

If I had your season, I'd be more inclined to try Pink Lady or Granny Smith, however. Most would rate either of these mid season bloomers as higher quality than Ark Black although AB is pretty good as grown here.

I was raised several decades ago in nearby Topanga Canyon and hardly anyone grew apples in that region back then.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:06PM
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Thanks harvestman. I picked the Arkansas Black because when we were visiting relatives in Northern CA, we went to an orchard and tried this variety. It tasted amazing! I have tried Pink Lady too but prefer the AB. I am not a big pie maker so the Granny Smith is not on my list.

From what you are saying, if I plant the AB, even though it's 100 feet away from the Fuji, it should still get pollinated. Is that right? I will be planting in the next 1-2 weeks. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:13PM
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alan haigh

Obviously taste is in the mouth of the beholder! I like Ark Black as well but never tried it as grown in N. CA. The reason why I suggest Granny Smith is because I hear it's a completely different apple as grown in your climate and much, much better than any granny grown in Washington State.

The season there is a month too short to properly ripen Granny Smith, which you'd be picking in Dec. Believe me, in Australia GS is not thought of as being primarily a pie apple- it is considered by many to be the ultimate eating apple! Most apples aren't all that good when picked a month before being truly ripe.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 7:59AM
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