The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Fruit => Topic started by: arobwk on June 17, 2021, 11:36:03 pm

Title: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: arobwk on June 17, 2021, 11:36:03 pm
Very good density of blossom on a client' s apple/pear trees early this Spring. 
(Oh gawd, I was thinking, too much blossom - I haven't pruned hard enough.)  BUT now they have hardly any baby/developing apple fruit what so ever and no pears at all !!
A friend had recently sent me a UK web article saying "a good year for apples"
Alas, I fear that prediction was premature.

What is the experience of others please ?
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 17, 2021, 11:49:00 pm
We had the same thing last year, with loads of blossom on apples, plums, cherries, pears, but yields were low except on one cooking apple and one eater which always do well every year.
This year, apple blossom is just setting and looks good, plenty of cherry blossom has turned into what looks like it will be a middling crop, but I never trust early appearances and anyway the birds always get all our cherries.  Plums have had plenty of blossom but I see no baby fruit yet. I never get any edible pears anyway so having none is no surprise.
I think crops vary enormously from place to place depending on local climate, shelter, frost pockets, rainfall, temperature for the pollinators and so on and so on, so I wouldn't really expect my experience and yours to be the same each year. If I ever got a crop here which you would think of as just an average year, I would be amazed.  It's not just the altitude, which is against us but all those other factors, and yet we are just a bit further up the river from Scotland's most famous fruit and tomato growing area, the Clyde valley.
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: macgro7 on June 18, 2021, 07:13:50 am
Very often apples (but also pears and other fruit trees) grow a bumper crop one year and nothing (or very little) the next year.

Both apple and pear trees at my in laws had nothing last year - this year they are full of fruit.

When there are too many fruits it's good to take some out as the tree might go into stress mode and take the next year to rest from fruiting.
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: doganjo on June 18, 2021, 12:16:58 pm
I have 8 fruit trees in my little orchard - only in teh ground about a year.

I went out yesterday to inspect them and found only one tree with fruit on it - a dessert apple, with loads of baby fruit on it.  I took off anything that came away easily, and any extras on the same twig.

I'm hoping it's just too early to see fruit on the others, and they may yet produce, but time will tell
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Anke on June 18, 2021, 05:32:51 pm
A good year for apples? What? Mine didn't even flower, really, very, very few flowers and then it was too cold for the bees... Plum tree - ditto. But we had a monster harvest last year (and I am regretting not buying that dehydrator then...
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: arobwk on June 18, 2021, 09:02:39 pm
Coldness and bees was also mentioned on GQT (Rad4) at the new RHS Bridgewater garden today.  Biennial fruiting (some varieties more prone to than others) was also mentioned on GQT, but I'm pretty sure that is not my clients' problem: they've had excellent annual crops each year since I started pruning their trees in 2013 (ha - it's the way I prune 'em !)
RHS Bridgewater also mentioned high greenfly populations;  conjectured to be due to slow start to spring and carnivorous insects being slow to get out and about.
So, I'm increasingly inclined towards the cold/late spring explanation. (Clients' trees are also suffering from aphid infestation this year - white-oil organic spray scheduled for my next visits).


Also, RHS Bridgewater strongly advised against any manual fruitlet thinning before end June (for those lucky enough to have had excellent pollination) due to June generally being the month when trees do their own "thinning" and drop many of their fruitlets naturally.  (I knew trees do their own natural thinning, but I hadn't associated that with June until now - so thought I'd mention in passing. I would guess, though, there will be regional/climatic variations on the "June-drop" across the UK.)
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 18, 2021, 11:15:39 pm
South of Scotland has an 'early July drop'
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: macgro7 on June 18, 2021, 11:46:36 pm
So, I'm increasingly inclined towards the cold/late spring explanation. (Clients trees are also suffering from aphid infestation this year - white-oil organic spray scheduled for my next visit).
I noticed that this year too - a lot of aphids on cherries and apples- however both cherry trees and apple trees seem to have a decent amount of fruit on them so far.

By far the best fruit tree I have is QUINCE. Planted it 4 years ago. Grows really well - around 2-3 ft a year. Last year had 20 fruits. Its self Fertile. Aphids or other insect don't bother it.
Later in the season it is affected by some sort of mildew on the leaves however. And of course the fruits never actually fully ripen in the English summer's- they are perfect for cooking though.
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Anke on June 19, 2021, 12:06:33 pm



By far the best fruit tree I have is QUINCE. Planted it 4 years ago. Grows really well - around 2-3 ft a year. Last year had 20 fruits. Its self Fertile. Aphids or other insect don't bother it.
Later in the season it is affected by some sort of mildew on the leaves however. And of course the fruits never actually fully ripen in the English summer's- they are perfect for cooking though.


Thing about quince is that I cannot really come up with a good number of uses.... other than quince cheese... (but I am normally uqite busy at that time of year sorting out the apples...)
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 19, 2021, 12:51:53 pm
Quince jelly.  Also you can eat them with a spoon direct when they become disgustingly brown and rotten which equals ripe. I prefer to admire quince from a distance.
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: macgro7 on June 19, 2021, 03:50:50 pm
You can use it for all the thing you would use cooking apples.
I use them for cakes.
Hopefully will try to make some jam or jelly this autumn  :fc:
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 19, 2021, 03:54:35 pm
Quince jelly.  Also you can eat them with a spoon direct when they become disgustingly brown and rotten which equals ripe. I prefer to admire quince from a distance.

Oh no, I'm thinking of medlars  ::)
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Anke on June 19, 2021, 06:25:25 pm
Quince jelly.  Also you can eat them with a spoon direct when they become disgustingly brown and rotten which equals ripe. I prefer to admire quince from a distance.

Oh no, I'm thinking of medlars  ::)
Oh, I love medlars... but it is an aquired taste I agree. (Used to get them when I lived in Hungary). Do they even grow in Scotland?
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 19, 2021, 09:05:43 pm
Quince jelly.  Also you can eat them with a spoon direct when they become disgustingly brown and rotten which equals ripe. I prefer to admire quince from a distance.

Oh no, I'm thinking of medlars  ::)
Oh, I love medlars... but it is an aquired taste I agree. (Used to get them when I lived in Hungary). Do they even grow in Scotland?

I don't know but my father grew them down in Norfolk.  I think he only pretended to like them because he had spent years growing the tree before it fruited  ::)
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on June 26, 2021, 12:26:36 am
I had masses of blossom on all my trees and now plenty of baby fruits on the apples, pears and Victoria plum but not much sign of any on the Bramley apple, the other plum tree ( but that does get attacked by aphids every year) and the greengage. I ran out of stored apples from both eating apple trees in May. They've only just started to drop as well.
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: macgro7 on June 26, 2021, 06:52:55 am
I had masses of blossom on all my trees and now plenty of baby fruits on the apples, pears and Victoria plum but not much sign of any on the Bramley apple, the other plum tree ( but that does get attacked by aphids every year) and the greengage. I ran out of stored apples from both eating apple trees in May. They've only just started to drop as well.
Wow! Sounds like you have rrally good apple trees!
Do you know what varieties they are? Where they fruit on the tree till May??
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Dan on June 28, 2021, 10:59:58 am
Oh, I love medlars... but it is an aquired taste I agree. (Used to get them when I lived in Hungary). Do they even grow in Scotland?

We have a mature tree that was here when we arrived 11 years ago, and two spalings of about 5 feet that I planted as whips last year. They seem to like it here, we have a crop most years although I don't think we make the most of them.
Title: Re: How many baby apples/pears do you have left on your tree/s ?
Post by: Anke on June 28, 2021, 09:41:10 pm
Oh, I love medlars... but it is an aquired taste I agree. (Used to get them when I lived in Hungary). Do they even grow in Scotland?

We have a mature tree that was here when we arrived 11 years ago, and two spalings of about 5 feet that I planted as whips last year. They seem to like it here, we have a crop most years although I don't think we make the most of them.


Ooohh.... I must investigate further! Thank you - I have not ever heard anyone talking about them in Scotland, so assumed they are a "Southern" delicacy...