Growing a Fuji Apple Tree

erin_in_californiaMay 14, 2008


I planted a fuji apple tree four years ago and it has grown so huge (about 15 feet tall and very wide) but shows no signs of bearing any fruit. I was told they are self pollinating. Is that true? What can I do to get some fruit!! I have been patient and really want to bake some apple pies :)

Thanks in advance for any advice or insight. Erin

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Fuji is notorious for taking a long time to bear, but is very reliable once it starts and self-fertile. It sounds like you may have a very vigorous rootstock, in which case it may take a year or two more; folks get impatient and tear out their Fuji right when it is getting ready to bear tons of wonderful apples.

I'm afraid you may be disappointed with the pies; Fuji is one of the best in the world for fresh-eating, but lacks zip for baking.

Do not fertilize any and you may want to dial back your watering to stress it a bit.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:31AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

My current Fuji planting on M26 rootstock fruited heavily the 2nd yr. It has set a heavy crop every yr since. Every yr I spend hrs thinning. So I can only suggest a precocious rootstock if you plant another apple.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Would trimming it back help at all? It does get a lot of water in the summer so I will cut back on that. Bummer about fruit pies! What is a good apple for fruit pies? Thanks for the replies.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 11:10AM
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This past winter I ordered a bareroot Fuji and a Goldrush apple trees; one of them from Gurney's, and the other from Wayside Gardens.

The Fuji which Gurneys's shipped me in Late Feb of this year, was large enough for me to pot it up in a 10 or 15 gallon size pot. This Fuji apple tree is on dwarf root stock and should not grow more tall than 8-10 feet, if let to grow without my pruning out the leader. Last month the tree produced what, if left to grow, would be lots of apples, but I removed most of them so the tree can put its energy into developing a better root ball and to develop better side branch structure.

The Goldrush is on Semi-Dwarf root stock and would grow from 15 to 20 feet tall, if it is not pruned to prevent it from growing so tall.

I purchased both of these apple trees, because Fuji and Goldrush are reported to bloom about the same time. I wanted both, so they could each help increase their individual harvest yield, once they matured enough for both to be producing fruit.

My semi-dwarf, GoldRush apple is nearly the same size as the Dwarf Fuji, but the Goldrush is not yet mature enough to produce flowers and fruit

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 2:49PM
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For your zone you have a lot of choices for pie apples; Wealthy, White Winter Pearmain, Arkansas Black, and Terry Winter come to mind. But tops for both eating and baking might be Rubinette. Tear out all that silly lawn and plant apple trees instead.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:52PM
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I know this is a late response but I just read the thread. I've always been told to use tart apples in apple pies so that's what I did. But a friend of mine who has a fuji tree said she loves them in her pies. We made one with her apples and it was so delicious I haven't made an apple pie with anything but fujis since. They were plenty crisp enough and the sweet flavor was amazing! Best wishes on your pie making!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 8:21PM
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alan haigh

Fuji in pies? Perhaps for people who are into the low-acid affect. I like the complexity of a good acid to sugar balance, to me Fuji's are bland as cookers although I like a few off the tree (and out of storage). You just have to figure out what you like and ignore people's advice that have a differnt point of reference taste-wise. Cookers usually are pretty acidic so I have to assume a lot of people share my taste.

Fuji's are somewhat bienniel here in the northeast (Z 6). The season isn't long enough for recharge after harvest.

As far as getting early productivity it is useful to entirely remove scaffold branches exceeding 1/2 or or even 1/3 the diameter of the trunk at the point of attachment. Fuji is notorious for its excessively vegetative growth habit on rootstocks less dwarfing than M26.

Commercial growers often score the trees early in the season with a sharp saw. This is girdling a tree by cutting a thin as possbible circle about 1-2 inch deep or less at the base of the tree (through the cambium only). The wound heals and the tree tends to fruit the following season.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 10:03AM
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I agree completely with harvestman's post. Fuji is very productive and is an alternate bearer if you don't chemically thin out the flowers at bloom time. Or even at pea size with Sevin, but the earlier the better. I have never found Fuji to be what I would call self fruitful. What he is referring to in removing scaffolds is part of the French Axe method of pruning. A system I highly suggest.
OP, you just didn't buy your tree on a dwarf rootstock. But it should have had apples by now unless it is frosting. I would think something is nearby to pollinate it.
I would like to add that when girdling a tree I would not connect the ends of the cut. While I have never tried that I prefer a "barber pole" style of cut and I remove a wider section of bark rather a deep cut.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 1:04PM
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I don't see anyone asking the OBVIOUS question:

Erin, is your Fuji getting flowers?

If it is, then you need another apple to pollinize it, a late-bloomer like Fuji. If you buy one this spring, you could have apples by September. Or you could graft another variety onto one of your Fuji branches.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 12:35AM
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Hi, I just got back from the Nursery (April 09). The gal there told me that Fuji trees are NOT self-pollinating and that they need another TYPE of apple tree to get them to produce. I have a Granny Smith and was hoping they would work together so I am on the web to research right now. The gal said she was not sure about the Granny Smith, but that Red Delicious are highly recommended for cross-pollination. I may go that route! Good luck to you!

Karen in NE Oregon

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:47PM
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kansasapple(KS 5/6)

Our Fujis on M7 had some apples at 5 years old and the Fujis on M111 took 6 or 7 years to bear. From what I can tell Fujis would be partially self fertile but would benefit from a pollinator - Brogdale does not mention it being triploid (sterile pollen). I would recommend their UK website for doing any apple research - great resource (follow the link to National Fruit Collection).

Here is a link that might be useful: Brogdale Hort Trust

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 4:02PM
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    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 8:58PM
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Happy Birthday Rick, but you sure aren't giving us much in the way of information about either your tree or your plans for planting it. Is it a container tree or bare root? Why is it so big? Smaller, bare root trees usually do better than large potted trees. Did you plant it in the ground yet, or will you grow on in the container? Where did your wife buy the tree, and did they tell her what rootstock it is on? If not, can she still ask them?

All of these factors, plus several more, will determine when, if ever, your apple tree will bear fruit. Fuji is a late ripening apple, and I hope your season is long enough to allow it to ripen.

Go down the road and look at the apples in the commercial orchard. Walk around and see how they are pruned. Then prune like they do.

Your caps lock is stuck.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:34PM
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I just bought two Fuji dwarf apple trees and one bing dwarf cherry tree with bareroot from summerstonenursery. Planning to plant them in the yard tomorrow (Saturday). This is my first time. I am planning to plant two apple trees next to each other then is the chery tree. three of them line up.

I live in zone 7. Is it the right time to plant them? They are about one to two feet tall.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 12:13PM
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Will a Fiji bear fruit in Zone 4? If not are there any apple trees that are Hearty enough to live and ripen early in my zone?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:08PM
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Hi, I don't usually make pies, but I do make alot of apple crisp. Empires are my first choice but Fujis are good in apple crisp also.

We are just getting to plant fruit trees on our property and was reading your site for tips on whether to choose "Fujis" or not. You have convinced me to do so.

We are Zone 5 due to being one mile from Lake Ontario.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:06PM
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