time to bear for semi-D apple

oldryderOctober 18, 2012

planted about 60 bare root apple trees in spring 2009. slow growth 1st 2 years due to nitrogen deficiency and probably not enough watering for my sandy soil despite ample mulching.

2011 and 2012 saw much better growth. trees are typically 6-10' tall now. all blooms were killed by frost this year.

I'd really like to get some apples next year. Is that a reasonable expectation. I've read semi-d bear in 3-5 years and, of course, I naturally figured that meant 3 years for me.

Note: I do not know the rootstock as I didn't know enough to inquire about it back then.

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I bought my bare root apple trees from Burntridge a few years ago. I only told them I wanted semi-dwarf trees. I did not know anything about rootstocks then(still don't know much now). Both trees (both William's Pride) bore fruit quickly, one on the 2nd year, the other on the 3 years. They are short trees, about 5-6 ft tall.

Hope yours will bear next year.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 5:51PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

I do think it is reasonable to expect a crop next year. The only reason it didn't happen this year is because of the very strange weather that we only get a couple times a century. So unless this is the new normal, you'll get apples next year. I'm hopeful that I will get a lot more next year as well. I only have 3 apple trees, each 3 to 5 years old, and I only got 3 apples on one tree this year. Next year, I expect a lot more.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:19PM
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This year's freeze may have helped the tree a bit, as it spent a season producing only foliage. If it had to work on a few apples, you would have had less growth.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Oldryder, I have four apple trees out of 18 trees. The trees that have been in the ground since 2009 have borne the least apples. My enterprise in three years has produced two apples, my Jonagold has produced a total of 8 apples in threes years. However, my Pristine 'early' apple went in in 2010 and produced 63 apples this year. My 'Motts Pink' went in this past spring and already has fruiting spurs and blossomed its first year in the ground. It depends upon the apple and its precocity, from my minimal experience, Mrs. G

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 10:31AM
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This Spring (April 2012) I planted a standard Pristine (Henry Fields). It was a feathered whip 3 ft. tall. After this one growing season it is about 7 ft. tall. It has outgrown every other apple I have that is close to the same age. What a performer! Looking forward to the apples it produces in a couple of years I'm sure but Wow! What a prolific tree! I've seen ripe dates as early as July 10th - thats pretty cool! Especially for SE Mich.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 2:57PM
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alan haigh

Mrs.G pretty much nailed it. The other issues are the specific rootstock since semi-dwarf could range from M26 to M111 and the pruning you do or do not do- heading back cuts slow fruiting a great deal.

It takes 7-8 years to get meaningful harvests from most varieties on 111 in my experience. 26 takes half that time. Seedling trees take a bit longer.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Hi Jim,

You mentioned that you planted a standard Prestine. If it's really on a standard rootstock, you probably will need to wait much longer than a couple of years.

I have a Honey Crisp apple on an unkwown rootstock (bought potted from a local nursery). The tree is at least 6 yrs old. It grows well but no flowers/fruit. I suspected it is on a standard rootstock. That could take 7-8 years or more to bear.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 6:12PM
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PS. all of my apple trees are on semi-dwarf rootstock. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:44PM
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