Plum and apple trees not producing fruit at 6 years old

Lydia48(Southwest Illinois)May 31, 2012

I have a plum tree that we got about 6 years ago. It flowered and produced 2 good-sized fruits the first year. Then, its tall central branch that grew straight up, died and broke off. It has not grown more than about 1 inch each year since then. It is about 3 feet tall now. It has not flowered or produced fruit since then. We also have 2 apple trees-also 6 years old- one McIntosh and one Golden Delicious. The McIntosh has only grown maybe 6 inches since we got it and has produced two tiny fruits the year we got it. It has not flowered since. Neither has the golden delicious, which has grown a lot- from about 4 feet tall to almost 10. We also have a hybrid Bing/Tart Red Cherry tree, if that helps at all, and a patch of woods containing ash, elm, persimmon, and sassafras trees, honeysuckle, and blackberry vines. Does anyone have any suggestions or answers as to why they do not bloom or produce fruit? Thanks.


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Sounds like there is something about the cultural conditions you are growing in, such as saturated roots, or extremely low or high pH.

We really need more info. What is your soil like? Wet or dry? Clay or sand? pH? Any soil imbalances? How much sun do they get. What do you do for fertilizing, mulching or watering? What do the leaves look like, such as color, mottling etc. Do you see any signs of pests or disease?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:53PM
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Lydia48(Southwest Illinois)

We don't water it, as we get a mild amount of rain here. Not too much, but just enough to keep the soil a little moist. Our soil pH is 6.5. We have horrible clay soil that, when it gets dry, is like a rock. We don't have any soil imbalances that I know about. We tried some miracle-gro fruit tree fertilizer stakes that we got from our local nursery. The leaves don't have any mottling or spots or other imperfections. They are a light green color, as most plum tree leaves are. They look like these leaves
Except without the plums, obviously.
Now about the apple trees.
The bigger one (GD) got the same fruit tree stakes but to no avail. Its leaves have cedar rust, but it is because our neighbors have juniper and cedar trees. It never affected the 6 huge and beautiful McIntosh and GD-Mutsu Hybrid trees we had at our old house, which is about 2 miles away from our current house with the same weather and soil conditions, and the trees were in the exact same amount of sun. There are no visible signs of pest or disease on any of the trees. the only things that have ever bothered them are japanese beetles, which we have only had twice, so that doesn't seem to be the problem. Our average temperature throughout the year is around 79. We get around 40 inches of rain per year and all the trees are in full-partial sun, leaning more towards full. What I am wondering is, do nurseries that supply local nurseries and garden stores with fruit trees, put some substance on/in the trees to force them to produce fruit? It seems like every tree i have ever had, produces fruit the very first year I plant it, then it starts up again 2-3 years later. Do you know the answer to this? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 6:05PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Insufficient chill hours?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:20PM
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If the the apples are standard sized trees, the lack of fruiting doesn't concern me nearly as much as the lack of growth. That's totally abnormal. Did you plant these trees or were they on site when you moved there. What kind of container did they come in or were they bare root or balled and burlapped. Has your soil been tested? Was your present home a new construction when you moved in?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:43AM
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alan haigh

You need to have a gardener check your soil or to contact your county extension and provide them with a soil sample. Your soil may be too compacted, too wet (heavy clay) or something less predictable. Is it easy to dig? Is it generally moist but not soppy? Where to begin? Do you have any friends at all who are competent gardeners?

Fruit isn't the issue- tree vigor is.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 6:19AM
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