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Author Topic: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?  (Read 713 times)

Dan

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2020, 07:08:40 am »
We've got 3 Rosemary Russets. Planted as maiden whips 5 years ago, they bore fruit for the first time this year, about half a dozen apples each on average. Very upright growth, on MM106.

Compare to the Saturn, planted at the same time one row away, each of which yielded 15+kg this year.

So in my very limited experience it's not a prolific cropper to say the least. If you've got the room, plant it, if not, and you're looking for more fruit, buy a new tree of  variety known for cropping well.

Muddy Wellies

  • Joined Dec 2019
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2020, 08:01:32 am »
A few people hav mentioned supermarket trees.

Just be aware that, as well as usually not being great varieties, you have no idea how they've been looked after. Chances are they've not been cared for well and that the roots will have dried out and been over-watered, and the trees been left out in the frost and been inside in the warm.

If you're buying fruit trees it's well worth going to a proper nursery where they have grafted the trees themselves and raised them there on site.
There are a number of excellent small nurseries specialising in raising a wide variety of apple trees, for example https://www.scottishfruittrees.com/ and http://welshmountaincider.com/

The people running these nurseries are very knowledgable and can advise on the most suitable trees for your site and for what you want

Or you can graft your own!

It's a very satisfying skill to learn  :)

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2020, 06:09:45 pm »
Muddy Wellies is quite right about the potential risks of buying supermarket trees.  But, for anyone on an extremely tight budget, £5-£6 a pop is a bargain compared to nursery prices (which vary so greatly that I won't offer a comparative price).  Just check them carefully for any signs of damage and buy as early as they become available (which will be soonish) and plant them promptly after a good root soaking in a bucket.  They are often 'feathered' so select for most evenly spaced branching.

Alternative budget option (slightly more expensive) is buying bare-root grafted trees on-line - place your orders soon !!

[In passing, to add that the Golden Delicious has been used to mother or father so many of the newer varieties of apple, for some reason !!!]
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 06:37:43 pm by arobwk »

Muddy Wellies

  • Joined Dec 2019
Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2020, 09:19:17 pm »
Alternatively, just plant apple pips!

A surprising number will poduce good fruit - and if its particularly tasty you can register it as a new variety!

A friend who planted apple pips with the kids when they were little now has a hedge of apple trees of which 14 are new named varieties

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2020, 12:46:04 am »
Alternatively plant some apple pips while watching out for a supermarket bargain !!

doganjo

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2020, 01:00:40 pm »
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.
Thank you, it is pretty wet at the bottom, have had to put in new field drains, and the Council put in a road drain and cleared out the gullies, so U wasn't going to put them down there. But In Scotland we don't really have a dry part of the year, even with climate change so I think the rest of the ground should be ok.

I found all three of those varieties on Dobbies website butn they are mostly crab apples so I'll choose just one I think, an umbrella variety probably.
I also want plums so if anyone has any thoughts on that I'd appreciate it
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

doganjo

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2020, 01:03:08 pm »
Alternatively, just plant apple pips!

A surprising number will poduce good fruit - and if its particularly tasty you can register it as a new variety!

A friend who planted apple pips with the kids when they were little now has a hedge of apple trees of which 14 are new named varieties
Don't think I have time - I'm 76  :innocent:
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
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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2020, 04:36:16 pm »
Don't think I have time - I'm 76  :innocent:
I was forgetting your age doganjo and, having been reminded, I would remark that any additional apple/s would best be dwarf trees also:  these will need to be sourced on-line or at the nursery (as no-knowing what rootstock used for s/market ones). 

Dwarfing might not be too great a consideration if you go for a crab merely for ornamental purposes, pollinating-power and bird feed.  However, dwarfs are so easy to maintain (prune/spray) and to harvest and also tend to bear fruit after just a few years and will quite easily produce more fruit than you will know what to do with after a few more years.

I'm not well versed on plums accept that they should be summer pruned (not winter pruned).
I believe I am also safe in saying there is no such thing as a very dwarfing plum rootstock. 
From my limited experience of actually managing plum trees, I would say that branches are more likely to break (compared to apples) if bearing a heavy crop and Plum Moth can be a real problem:  there is a very comprehensive/excellent TAS post by The Balkan Ecology Project under the simple thread title "Plum Moths".
Based on that piece, I would throw in the following thoughts:
if Plum Moth (or apple Codling Moth for that matter) become a problem, a thick loose mulch below trees will aid raking in winter to help birds find any pupae;
I would personally also go for a good spray of organic "white oil" (a simple mix of liquid potassium soap and veg oil) just after blossom petals have dropped as it won't do any harm and might just suffocate a few eggs or baby maggots before they actually get to munch into fruit-lets.

(For old fruit trees, I would suggest a white oil spray late autumn or winter as well with aim of getting into any nooks and crannies in older bark.)

doganjo

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2020, 02:18:37 pm »
Thanks, Arobwk, lots of useful info there x
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 #24 on: January 26, 2020, 11:43:44 pm »
Tesco now has their usual apple tree selection in store (G Delicious, Jonagold & Discovery) @ £6 ea or £10 for two, together with pears and possibly plums - I didn't spot a plum label, but didn't actually scour through the 'box'.

In recent posts, I forgot to mention one of my clients asked me to find a cheap Williams pear in 2016 after I had grubbed out an old diseased pear tree which had not blossomed at all that Spring:  my record shows 'twas late April & therefore really quite a risk as regards an un-potted tree! 
However, after several s/market visits I did find one which still looked in great condition (nice firm shiny bark with no shriveling or physical damage anywhere & with v good structure:  a v v lucky find that late in season and it was purchased and planted without delay and it is doing extremely well.  It carried a few large fruit thro' to harvest in 2019:  unfortunately fruit were so large on one side of tree they bent the young tree over so new staking required.

Also, @doganjo , you probably know this, but dwarf apples need staking permanently.  And as regards white oil;  of course a concoction of veg oil and soap needs to be diluted in water.  Plenty recipes on web, but I will post a formula that works for me if you or anyone interested. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 12:26:48 am by arobwk »

doganjo

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Re: Apple trees not growing nor fruiting - a lost cause?
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2020, 09:52:18 am »
Thanks again, I didn't know that permanent staking was needed, but to be honest I didn't remove the stakes on my previous trees at my last home.
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

 

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