How much fruit would you remove?

marc5(6aOH)July 12, 2013

This is the first year I have had a real crop on my Goldrush on G16, planted in 2006. As you can see, this 8-foot tree is not vigorous, but it has a heavy crop. I was waiting for a June drop that never happened. Most of my young trees are loaded.

I'm going to have to take some fruit off soon--before the tree starts to fall over. How much would you remove?
Thanks,
Marc

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megamav(5a - NY)

I'd go get a 10 foot metal conduit pipe at Lowes and support the tree. Pound the pipe at least 2 feet into the ground and tie the tree up.
Until then, i'd remove the fruit from more than the halfway point on the long droopy branches to reduce the strain.
In the spring, I'd halve those branches back.

This post was edited by megamav on Fri, Jul 12, 13 at 23:45

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 11:44PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I agree- that tree looks like it needs some support. Even without the heavy fruit load, my understanding is that G16 (like most dwarf rootstocks) requires staking for the life of the tree.

It would have been easier to install at planting, but better late than never. If you have rocky ground, it could be tough to drive 2' in and you might need to get more creative (my father used several posts at a distance around the tree with wire). I've stuck with 10.5' chain link top rails at planting. After the post is in position, I drive stones into the ground on all sides to help stabilize it.

I'd think that the first thinning targets would be the end of the long branch and the bending top.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 12:20AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Nice looking orchard!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 8:44AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Frank's comment got me to look at the background (I'm sometimes too focused on one thing at a time...) and I had 3 thoughts:

1.) Nice orchard, both in size and the apparent full sun. I'm jealous.

2.) With branches that low, it's got to be tough to mow. Maybe adding some woodchips under each tree would save you some time, as well as help the tree (not that it looks to be suffering).

3.) Is that another Goldrush tree in the background on the left? It looks just as heavily laden as the central tree.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 11:23AM
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creekweb(6,7)

Comments are right on. First order of business would be to stake that and any other shallow rooted tree laden with fruit. The next thunderstorm could otherwise put that nice tree right on the ground.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:13PM
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marc5(6aOH)

Thanks to you all for your comments. Sometimes reminders of a long-forgotten check list are exactly what is needed! I will stake that tree and remove fruit from the extremities. In more recent years as I have planted trees on G30, I have staked them with a 6' or 6.5" metal T-post, what I have readily available. However, I am not sure I would recommend this, as it leaves you with a stake only 4.5' or 5' in height. These G30 trees have a floppier top then the M7s, and seem to require some higher support. I should also probably prune them back a bit more aggressively to strengthen the leader.

That's a Honeycrisp in the background, also heavy-laden. It's finally bearing after 8 years in the heavy soil. It must have heard me say that it was put out or burn up this season.

That's good advice on mulching. I started with 3' mulch circles, but obviously they need to be expanded for easier mowing. I think I will also consider pruning off the lowest whorl of laterals, now that they are really dragging the ground. Critters also have to be considered.

Thanks,
Marc

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 1:58PM
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