No apples and few crab apples.... :(

image Last year our John Downie had lots of lovely fruit. We used most of it in jam-making with blackberries, elderberries, sloes and other woodland fruits. Some was even tasty enough to eat raw. We were looking forward to a similar crop this year but to our disappointment, even though there was a lot of blossom, there are very few fruits on the tree and those that are there are falling.

Next to it is a Sunset apple tree. LAst year it didn't fruit well and one branch's apples were small and tasteless but we used them to provide pectin in jam along with the crabs. This year, there are NO FRUITS at all! Could this be weather-related? 

Very close to it, we have unwisely allowed a wild cherry to grow rather large this year. We will cut it down this autumn but would this have contributed to the poor fruiting of the apple trees? And if this is the cause, would we expect a better crop next year or would it take a few years to recover?

Should we be feeding both trees?

Any adice welcome!



  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    It's most likely down to poor pollination if you had plenty of blossom. The heavy rain prevented the pollinating insects from flying.

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 677

    I'm sure that's right. Some of our apples are cropping well but some are not. We have almost no pears, no quinces at all (despite copious blossom) and very few pears. At certain times this spring there were simply not enough insects flying to do the pollinating. Bees, for instance, won't fly when it's too cold, or wet or windy, which was the case for several weeks at a time. They are out and about now but it's too late for the tree fruits.

  • Thank you both for your answers. It's disappointing - we were looking forward to our crab apples after a good crop last year and we used them in our jam-making to provide pectin. We also found they tasted good straight from the tree! I hope next year's crop is better. Will be sure to wassail the trees this December to ensure thisimage

  • I have 2 young crab apples in the garden; both have plenty of blossom and lots of fruit in the Autumn, but the fruit does not develop beyond the size of a pea. image Are the trees just too young to produce anything of worth or is something missing? Any ideas? Thanks…. Living in the South - plenty of sun, water and insects…..

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,250

    What crab apples have you got Ever hopeful?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,759

    Do you know the varieties?  Some have larger fruit than others ...

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,250

    Snap Dove

  • Can't remember the varieties to be honest…. one is a weeping variety, white blossom and yellow fruit I believe, the other red blossom, and dark leaves. I'll try to get some photos to help identify.

    So, do some produce fruit THAT small? To be honest I planted them for the birds so if they are happy, I am happy…. jelly would be nice at some stage though image

  • Some crab apples are really small. Little round fruits, slightly bigger than cherries. You can still use them for jelly though image

  • I'm at the pea stage at the moment! 


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