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Three apple trees with no blossom

I have an orchard with 21 apple trees planted between 5 and 8 years ago on MM106 rootstock and, this Spring, three have no blossom - the rest are covered with it! Two were under the shade of a huge beech tree. One of these is a Gladstone - and produced precisely two apples last year. The other is a Cambusnethan Pippin and has never fruited. The beech was removed two months ago and I was hoping they would exult in the new-found light and fruit well this year - but apparently not - maybe they need time to get going after years of stunted growth and will fruit next year?? The other - much more surprising - non-blossomer is a Christmas Pearmain. It has cropped well for the past four years - but this year year has precisely one blossom flower. It looks healthy and the leaves are fine - but it looks quite strange surrounded by other trees hung with blossom. I'm putting it down to it just being temperamental and having an "off" year. My worst fear is that it has honey fungus. The garden has it - but, generally, healthy young trees and shrubs don't seem to get it - we have the relatively benign "gallica" variant. If anyone has any comments I'd be interested to hear them.


  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,181
    The 2 in my garden seem to be having an off year as well. The weather has been so unpredictable this 'spring' that they may have had some problems with the cold. I've had a lot of sparrows and bull finches in the garden over the winter though so I'm suspecting they may have picked a few of the buds off too.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,735
    edited May 2018
    Apple blossom is formed on older wood so creating better light two months ago won’t show any benefits for at least another year.

    There is a thing called biennial bearing where a tree blossoms and fruits well one year and has a year off the next. Some varieties are more prone to it than others.

    However, five years with no flowers does seem a bit lazy. Perhaps, as wild edges says, the birds find those buds particularly delicious and whip them off before they get a chance to flower.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • ron36ron36 Posts: 5
    Many thanks for the comments. It's definitely not birds. I've been inspecting them almost daily this spring and most of the trees developed fine with buds and then pink/white curled up blossom that opened (some are still curled up). But the temperamental Christmas Pearmain budded - and opened up with leaves but no blossom - except for one white floret! The strange thing is why it's different from all the other trees round it, which have had identical conditions.
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