Apple tree - no blossoms

mnmikeApril 7, 2010

Hi,

First time poster here, please be gentle.

I have three young apple trees. Number one I planted three years ago (liberty, dwarf). Two and three I planted last year (Honey crisp, pink lady, dwarfs).

The Honey Crisp and Pink Lady bore no fruit last year (as expected) and this spring are blossoming beautifully.

However, the Liberty bore fruit nicely last season, but sadly this year has no blossoms - not a one! However, there is lots of nice green leafing and appears quite healthy.

I bought these trees from a local nursery at about five feet (Holly Orchards is the brand) in 10 gallon pots. They have been watered and fertilized with manure. Light spraying of lime sulfur this spring. No pruning of any of these small trees yet.

I'm clueless - why no blossoms (and no fruit this year)?

Thanks for any advice!

Mike

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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Mike-
Welcome to the forum!
On young healthy trees, that happens sometimes, and two things come to mind. The first is that certain varieties are more prone to biannual tendencies... though I don't believe Liberty is one. The second reason is that you probably left too much fruit on the tree last year (didn't thin enough), and the tree is just tired and is taking a break this year. This happened to me last year with my Granny Smith, and I was quite disappointed. This year, it's covered with flowers, so it's back in my good graces again. But, never the less, I will still thin it heavily this year in an attempt to break the biannual cycle. Thankfully you have 2 other trees to provide you with fruit this year. Thin, Thin, Thin! Hope this helps...
-Glenn

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:52PM
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yotetrapper(7)

I have this same problem this year! I had one older tree, this would of been year four, but the rabbits killed it this winter. :( The rest of my trees were planted last year. They were about 5' trees. All of them are full and leafy, but not a blossom one on ANY of them. I was shocked. They are a dwarf honeycrisp, semi honeycrisp, three unknown apples, and a semi dwarf granny smith. Not one single blossom!

I also have a elberta semi dwarf peach. No blossoms. A 4 year old standard sweet cherry. 2 single blossoms. A 1 year old bing cherry, lots of blossoms.

What is going on?!?!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:27AM
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flyboy(z5NM)

Mike--
I'm with Glenn on this one. Even trees w/o marked biannual tendencies, especially young ones, can slip into that pattern. A young tree is trying to do a lot of things--establish a good root system, add vegetative growth, and make apples to boot, and sometimes doesn't allocate its resources very well. It's also hard for the hobbyist to aggressively thin--at least it is for me--and I've greedily left a few too many apples on and had the tree pay me back the next year with virtually no blossoms or fruit. FWIW, one other thing to keep an eye out for (although it's obviously not happening in your case since you have other trees blooming) is house finches, which can chew off an entire tree's worth of buds in a matter of hours. We have to net our trees here throughout April for that very reason.

Don

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 3:59PM
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