Thinning Fruit On Apple Trees

apples early stagesYou may well be thinking that life is too short to spend time in the orchard thinning fruit. In our view, any time spent in an orchard is a bonus. There are, though, some good reasons to thin fruit particularly if your trees are heavy croppers. The main one is that the tree will produce better quality and size fruit – albeit fewer of them – but there are other benefits

  •  heavy crops can cause limb damage
  • fruit will ripen more evenly as more light and air can penetrate the branches
  • it may help reduce the spread of pests and diseases
  • heavy cropping in young trees can set them back

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June Drop

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It can be rather alarming to discover that the tiny apples that you have been watching form and swell over the past few weeks are dropping from the tree for no apparent reason. Fear not, it is a natural process that has even been given a name; June Drop [although it often continues well into July].  It is reckoned that only 5 per cent of  the blossoms on a tree need to set and go on to produce an apple for it to constitute a full crop.  Continue reading