Our Fruit Trees Are Not Producing Fruit

Tasng4July 20, 2012


Firstly let me say I know NOTHING about growing anything!

We moved to France 5 years ago and initially our fruit trees (apple, pear and Green Gage) produced some fruit. However, the fruit was always small and somewhat bitter. We were told this could be due to the trees putting too much effort into new growth, we'd never pruned them. So we harshly pruned them. A friend said we may have to wait up to 2 years for the trees to recover!!

Anyway it's been 2 years and, whilst there's a lot of new growth there's precious little fruit - we have 1 small pear.

Can anyone help? What did we do wrong? What can we do to help our trees recover?

Thanks in advance.

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To get a regular crop of fruit you need to learn how to prune. With no experience of your own, I would suggest you hire someone locally to get you started. When visiting our son who lives in the Dordogne river valley we were very pleased with the quality of the locally grown fruit, so I don't think your location is the problem. Al

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Buy the book 'The Backyard Orchardist'. It is an excellent source of information for the 'non' professional backyard fruit grower. I would want to know more about the soil PH, where you are in France, and how other fruit growers prune, and fertilize their trees. Simples questions, but answers will give you better results. Bon Chance, Mrs. G

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:27AM
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nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)

How do the bee populations look in France? Here in the US bee populations have taken a real beating due to a variety of reasons, and this year we've seen precious few bees around our house. As a result, my cherry and crabapple trees that were covered in flowers still have almost no fruits. No bees, no pollination, no fruits :-(

If you think your area is deficient in bees, maybe planting some more bee-friendly plants and flowers will help out?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 2:10AM
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There are many factors, so it's hard to say. Weather is also a factor in that if you get a warm spring and a cold snap, it could freeze buds causing them to fail. That happened to many of us in North America this year. Several factors affect fruiting:

Alternate year bearing (from fruiting too much in the previous year)
Maturity (some fruit plants take many years to fully bear)

Some of these factors you can control, some you can't. Best to optimize the factors you can control, and pay attention to those you can't (such as weather). Research each variety and determine what they need and give it to them. Learn to prune correctly. Learn IPM (integrated pest management.

Fruit trees are more difficult then many other plants to grow and maintain correctly. You'll have to arm yourself with knowledge of each tree and conditions. Fruit tree maintenance changes from year to year as well as they have different requirements as they mature, and each year seems different as far as weather, pests, disease and pollinators. They are about as high maintenance as you can get, so it's always ongoing learning. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 10:17AM
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