Projecting next year's crop

ltiltonOctober 23, 2012

For a lot of us in the Midwest, it was a terrible year. First, the late frost killed off a lot of blossoms, then a drought stressed the trees. What I wonder is what this implies for next year.

Normally, I'd think the trees that didn't bear much because of the freeze should be loaded next year. But that doesn't take the drought into account. But maybe the lack of fruit minimized the stress on the trees.

What should we expect?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I'd expect the potential for a big crop. Any tree that didn't have much fruit this year will bloom heavily next year. The drought was bad but won't affect bloom as much as crop load.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:22AM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

I'm certainly not an expert, but here's my 2 cents:

I am expecting a bumper crop next year. The weather can't get any worse next year (knock on wood), statistically the odds are well in our favor not to have two terrible years in a row, and the trees have had a nice rest. Yes... The thing to watch for next year is too big a crop -- major thinning might be required to prevent your trees (at least apples if not others) from going into biennial behavior as the result of the bumper crop that I would expect. And the earlier you can do the thinning, the better. Consider removing a reasonable portion of fruiting wood in winter/spring, and at least 3/4 of your baby fruit at the marble size stage in spring to avoid overcropping that results in numerous small sized fruits of lower quality than desired (i.e., all cores/pits and skins and less juicy delicious flesh).

Of course, if we end up with another hot March and cold April, then I'm totally wrong. But somehow I think the odds are against lightning striking twice.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Yes, that's part of what I was wondering - how the projected yield should influence pruning in the dormant season.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:13PM
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