Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?  (Read 4806 times)

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« on: January 12, 2020, 02:40:10 pm »
Hi I have two apple tree saplings that I planted about six years ago now in a poor location under some huge oak trees and as a result the saplings have never grown (but they are still alive) they have never fruited either. My question is - if I move them will they grow and fruit? Or are they a lost cause?

My only concern is that they were left out of water in the open air if I remember correctly for quite a long time before planting them six years ago.

Dan

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 04:20:43 pm »
Move them, they've got every chance to do well.

Take care with the root ball, make sure the new planting hole is large enough, and stake very well. Don't let them set fruit this year, and report back. :-)

Fleecewife

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 05:03:52 pm »
Just as Dan says.  You'll know now never to leave trees with roots exposed although they seem to have survived that.  The problem now seems to be the site (well, it always was!) so choose where to put them very carefully this time.  :tree: :tree: :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple: :fc:
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Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 05:40:27 pm »
Great! I shall be moving them asap then to beside my new pig paddock, hopefully they will fruit to provide some nice apples for the pigs and some cool shade in the summer plus it will save me £50 or so on buying new trees.

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 07:38:54 pm »
Great! I shall be moving them asap then to beside my new pig paddock, hopefully they will fruit to provide some nice apples for the pigs and some cool shade in the summer plus it will save me £50 or so on buying new trees.
Trees chosen for you location and exact types can be pricey but around about next month we'll get the annual cheapo fruit trees in the likes of lidl/tesco etc often with discounts for 2+. Since I have enough chosen varieties I plan on pickign up a couple fo cheapos- usual optons are discovery (OK), Golden Delicious (yuck) and sometimes a cox or braeburn (Yippee) plus decent pears and they usually have cherries (the birds eat) or damson (enough wild ones here) and Victoria (need a new one).

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 11:00:43 pm »
Good advice already, but to add a few points for what they might be worth:
Don’t over fertilize the new planting holes – a bit of compost mixed into bottom of hole would be OK/good.
While about now is good time for replanting, so roots re-establish ‘as soon as’, do ensure they still get enough water during the next year.
As mentioned by pgkevet, the supermarkets will be doing cheapo offers soon:  to note that they normally only offer varieties that are pollination compatible so a fairly safe bet even if you only buy 2.  (Golden Delicious may not be to everyone’s taste [!], but I hear that ‘off the tree’ they well exceed supermarket offerings.)

You didn’t mention which varieties you already have Hogwarts [??]
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 12:37:04 am by arobwk »

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2020, 06:23:40 pm »
Good advice already, but to add a few points for what they might be worth:
Don’t over fertilize the new planting holes – a bit of compost mixed into bottom of hole would be OK/good.
While about now is good time for replanting, so roots re-establish ‘as soon as’, do ensure they still get enough water during the next year.
As mentioned by pgkevet, the supermarkets will be doing cheapo offers soon:  to note that they normally only offer varieties that are pollination compatible so a fairly safe bet even if you only buy 2.  (Golden Delicious may not be to everyone’s taste [!], but I hear that ‘off the tree’ they well exceed supermarket offerings.)

You didn’t mention which varieties you already have Hogwarts [??]

They're not well known varieties like cox or others you buy in supermarkets. One is called Blenheim Orange and the other is a Rosemary russet (I think) . The Blenheim Orange had actually grown better than I thought being actually of good size and development but still could do with a better location. I dug both up today in the foul wet weather and moved them to their new location which has plenty of sun and where they should do as well as anywhere. I've put them either side of an apple tree called a Peter lock which is the same age and has been fruiting for a few years.

I'm just hoping they fruit and provide lots of yummy apples for my incoming pigs in the years ahead!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 06:30:53 pm by Hogwarts »

doganjo

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2020, 09:26:21 pm »
I'm piggy backing on this.  New to planting decent fruit trees.  Planted supermarket bare root trees in my last house which were reasonably successful.

I've been given two young apple trees in pots for Christmas as a start for my new orchard(daughter and her family).

Any tips on how to go about planting them - until now it has been grass for about 35 years, previously part of a pig farm I believe.

One is a two variety dwarf tree - cox and james grieve I think, and the other is a single variety cox, also dwarf.  Bought from a well known garden centre chain.

I have installed a five foot fence (horizontal hit and miss type) and it's about 3 tenths of an acre and on a slope, pretty wet at the bottom left of the drawing
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some say it's in England !
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2020, 09:52:29 pm »
Not heard of 'Peter Lock' or 'Rosemary Russet' (I've checked them out now though).
Blenheim Orange is a fairly well known/respected eater/cooker & I have one:  it's a very vigorous triploid variety so I'm not surprised at your remark about it's good size (regardless of the rootstock it's on).  However, being a triplod variety it won't help pollinate your other trees AND I find that Peter Lock is another triploid so same again.
 
So @Hogwarts, unless you have lots of pollinators (bees mainly) coming in from surrounding areas where they have visited other apple trees, you need at least one other variety (a diploid) to pollinate your Rosemary Russet and also add to the pollination of both the BO & PL.  I would suggest you search out a diploid variety in flowering Group C:  the RR is Group C also, while the BO is Group D and the PL is Group B.  Alternatively get a crab apple as they tend to produce/hold onto blossom over a wider flowering period.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 10:57:23 pm by arobwk »

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2020, 10:10:41 pm »
When you say "dwarf" @doganjo do you mean rootstock is M27 or the not quite so dwarfing M9 ?

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 09:56:05 am »
Not heard of 'Peter Lock' or 'Rosemary Russet' (I've checked them out now though).
Blenheim Orange is a fairly well known/respected eater/cooker & I have one:  it's a very vigorous triploid variety so I'm not surprised at your remark about it's good size (regardless of the rootstock it's on).  However, being a triplod variety it won't help pollinate your other trees AND I find that Peter Lock is another triploid so same again.
 
So @Hogwarts, unless you have lots of pollinators (bees mainly) coming in from surrounding areas where they have visited other apple trees, you need at least one other variety (a diploid) to pollinate your Rosemary Russet and also add to the pollination of both the BO & PL.  I would suggest you search out a diploid variety in flowering Group C:  the RR is Group C also, while the BO is Group D and the PL is Group B.  Alternatively get a crab apple as they tend to produce/hold onto blossom over a wider flowering period.

Ok thanks there is a farmers glory apple tree close by across the lane I assumed that was helping out the Peter lock, the Peter lock is fruiting quite well. I will see what I can do about the rosemary russet, if indeed it is that from my sketchy records thats what I deduced anyway.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 10:17:19 am by Hogwarts »

doganjo

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2020, 03:00:29 pm »
When you say "dwarf" @doganjo do you mean rootstock is M27 or the not quite so dwarfing M9 ?
I have no idea, my daughter just said they would only grow to 6 feet

I've just walked through a local orchard with my dogs and seen three others that look very suitable - two weeping varieties and a crab apple - I took a note of their names - anyone heard of them? Malus Louisa, Royal Beauty, and Evereste
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 03:04:38 pm by doganjo »
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some say it's in England !
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2020, 03:42:37 pm »
@Hogwarts  If the PL is being pollinated (possibly by neighbour's tree), then the RR at least should also be, taking into account the flowering groups, and then the RR should at least be pollinating the BO. (This is, of course, assuming both the RR and BO have been producing a fair amount of blossom.)

Some of the more vigorous/large tree rootstocks will delay first fruiting on many varieties (even as long as 5-6 yrs apparently) - maybe that is part of your problem, although I doubt it.  The transplanting may help this year - a wait and see situation.   

Dan's advice about not letting them set fruit 1st year after transplant is probably a good idea, but given everything I would suggest leaving a few of any fruit-lets on the BO and RR to see if they carry through to maturity.

Finally;  leaving aside the triploid issue, sometimes the pollen from various apple varieties can simply be incompatible.  Again, I doubt that is your problem, but no harm in adding at least one other variety to the mix (providing even more apples for the pigs idc).  If you want to ensure early 1st fruiting, then you'll need to buy tree/s with known dwarfing rootstock M9 or M27 - in your case, I would suggest M9.  Actually, you might try something on slightly more vigorous M26 rootstock if you find something you fancy on that r/s.  Both M9 & M27rootstocks are best staked and M27 should definitely be staked permanently in almost all siting circumstances.

Finally, finally;  try summer pruning (shortening) of most (but not all) new year's growth longer than 9" or so - late Jul or Aug.  This should stimulate tree/s into developing greater number of flower buds (as opposed to leaf buds) for next year.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 12:29:32 am by arobwk »

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some say it's in England !
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2020, 04:51:26 pm »
When you say "dwarf" @doganjo do you mean rootstock is M27 or the not quite so dwarfing M9 ?
I have no idea, my daughter just said they would only grow to 6 feet

I've just walked through a local orchard with my dogs and seen three others that look very suitable - two weeping varieties and a crab apple - I took a note of their names - anyone heard of them? Malus Louisa, Royal Beauty, and Evereste

@doganjo I'm not familiar with any of the 3 varieties above.  I'm not going to go check them out as I seem to think the new orchard site is the important bit.

I'm thinking your gifted trees are probably on M27 rootstock, but some will tell you that M9 will produce a 6' tree (up to about 8') !  The grafted variety will also play its part on how high the tree grows and even the height of the graft joint can influence growth habit. 
I've come across conflicting advice about M9's (disease-free) tolerance of wetter soils, but I don't think there are any temperate climate top-fruit trees that do well in very wet soil (whether grafted onto 'developed' rootstocks or trees grown on their own roots).  So I would simply say "don't plant your trees at the bottom of the slope".
I would then add that dwarfing rootstocks tend to be shallow rooting so, if top of the slope dries out easily, don't plant them there either unless you are happy to water them frequently during drier periods.


« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 12:31:20 am by arobwk »

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2020, 05:58:13 pm »
@Hogwarts  If the PL is being pollinated (possibly by neighbour's tree), then the RR at least should also be, taking into account the flowering groups, and then the RR should at least be pollinating the BO. (This is, of course, assuming both the RR and BO have been producing a fair amount of blossom.)

Some of the more vigorous/large tree rootstocks will delay first fruiting on many varieties (even as long as 5-6 yrs apparently) - maybe that is part of your problem, although I doubt it.  The transplanting may help this year - a wait and see situation.   

Dan's advice about not letting them set fruit 1st year after transplant is probably a good idea, but given everything I would suggest leaving a few of any fruit-lets on the BO and RR to see if they carry through to maturity.

Finally;  leaving aside the triploid issue, sometimes the pollen from various apple varieties can simply be incompatible.  Again, I doubt that is your problem, but no harm in adding at least one other variety to the mix (providing even more apples for the pigs idc).  If you want to ensure early 1st fruiting, then you'll need to buy tree/s with known dwarfing rootstock M9 or M27 - in your case, I would suggest M9.  Actually, you might try something on slightly more vigorous M26 rootstock if you find something you fancy on that r/s.  Both M9 & M27rootstocks are best staked and M27 should definitely be staked permanently in almost all siting circumstances.

Finally, finally;  try summer pruning (shortening) of most (but not all) new year's growth longer than 9" or so - late Jul or Aug.  This should stimulate tree/s into producing greater number of flower buds (as opposed to leaf buds) for next year.

As far as I'm aware the RR and BO in their previous poor location never blosomed which is why I'm dubious if they'll ever fruit, anyway if anything they'll provide some shade for the pigs so all is not lost. Also I have found a 'golden bittersweet' cider apple tree thats also in a poor location not doing very well on the farm (that I planted at the same time six years ago) so I might move that to the pig paddock as well and see what happens.

 

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