harvest advice for dwarf fruit trees

dan_nz_gardenerJune 12, 2012

hi all

I have just bought 3 dwarf fruit trees that only grow to 1 to 1.5 metres high that are about 800mm tall already. They are dormant at the moment as we are in mid winter but i read that its best to wait 3 or so years before letting fruit trees set fruit to avoid them fruiting one year then not the next when they are mature. Will i have to do this with these wee fruit trees or will it be ok to let them fruit?


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Personally, I don't know that early fruiting has anything to do with alternate bearing in future years (but that doesn't mean I'm right!). But for young trees, allowing them to have a significant crop will slow down their establishment by delaying vegetative growth. It can also cause thin young branches to droop and distort the shape unless you support them. At that size, you probably would be better off removing all of the buds for the first season or two.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 5:44AM
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I believe that they advise this to promote growth of the tree, rather then putting energy into fruit production.

My Honeygold is maybe 5 feet tall, and looks like it has about a dozen fertilized blooms. Im going to take them all out, except one or 2, just because Im curious as to how they taste.

Im pretty sure that most fruit trees are biennial bearers anyways, and dont need a hand in achieving that.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:19AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"Im pretty sure that most fruit trees are biennial bearers anyways, and dont need a hand in achieving that."

Actually it's mostly pome fruits you have to worry about, and of those, apples seem to be the most problematic.

I suppose it's possible to induce alternate bearing in some stone fruits (although I've never witnessed it).

Alternate bearing is a bigger issue in colder climates where the growing season is shorter.

In longer growing seasons, trees have longer to recover and build energy stores, so alternate bearing isn't as common (except with some unmanaged apple trees and nuts).

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 1:32AM
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