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Malus Red Sentinel

I bought this young tree last year and it was covered with lovely red crab apples. I planted it in my garden this spring. Unlike last winter it has only produced about a quarter of the fruit. It was planted in quality soil and I watered it well throughout the summer. Any suggestions as to why it has produced less fruit?


  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Mine is exactly the same, much less fruit this year. I just assumed that it's settling in and energy going into the root growth. Or it was too windy and the blossom blew off before it set fruit.
    See what it does next spring, I will be giving it a mulch of manure this autumn and keeping up the watering even over winter if it's dry.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,555
    All sorts of reasons including a lack of pollinators at the time of flowering or an ill-timed frost or the plant just having a rest while it gets its roots down.  Try planting other spring flowering plants nearby and see if they attract extra pollinators for your crab apple.  A range of narcissus to cover flowering from February to April should do the trick plus crocus, pulmonaria and so on.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,971
    My Amelanchier is berry-less (again) because the pesky blackbirds came and gobbled them up in early summer, before they had chance to develop. (Snapping most of the smaller branches in the process). Wonder if they go for young crab fruits in the same way?
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Never touched mine last winter or the rugosa rose hips but did have the viburnum and cotoneaster berries
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,152
    edited October 2019
    You bought the tree last year and didn’t plant it until spring this year ... it may have suffered some setback in
    late winter/early spring if it wasn't planted until after the winter dormancy had broken. 

    It is also likely that a newly planted tree is busy developing a strong root system in its new site ... for it to develop a new root system and produce a good crop of flowers and fruit at the same time is expecting a bit much 😉  

    Give it time to establish before it reaches its full potential 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,991
    I think @Dovefromabove's explanation is the reason. It can take a while for a newly planted tree to settle and mature. It should be fine for next year, assuming all the factors are in place for it. 
    Potted plants are slightly 'forced' simply due to being in a pot, so that's why it possibly had a good crop, and when coupled with @Obelixx's comments about pollinators, that could also be the reason it had plenty. In a nursery, it's likely to have had a steady supply of pollinators nearby  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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