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non blossoming apple tree


 
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jolly jack
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:50 pm    Post subject: non blossoming apple tree Reply with quote

Hope someone has some advice, I bought a miniature apple tree 5 years ago from a garden centre ( the variety was called katy ). It has been in a large pot in full sun although shaded late afternoon for the last 5 years. It was bought with only one apple on the tree (maybe that was a bad sign) since then it has never flowered. It was recommended to me that I should prune it to encourage the tree to blossom and i,ve done this the last two years with no results. Now we are heading into another spring with plenty of fresh healthy leaves appearing but not a single blossom.... does anyone have any idea what the problem could be.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

does the tree usually look healthy?
we had a tree which suffered from mildew the last couple of years, and didn't blossom. we reckon we beat the mildew last year, so we're hoping for blossoms this year.
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jolly jack
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This apple tree always looks healthy, I've never noticed any mildew.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poor sunlight can delay or even prevent flowering jolly jack.
Whats your sunlight like, is the tree getting southerly or westerly sun unbroken by sheds or trees?

Is it planted in the rootzone of trees that were there a while before it came on the scene?
Any another stunter as water and nutrients are compromised.

Again on the water and nutrients, is there grass or weeds growing right up to the base of the tree stem?

Have you been fertilising the tree, and more to the point have you been applying the correct fertiliser.
A mulch with well rotted farmyard manure each March or April will do wonders.

Avoid artificial fertilisers high in nitrogen, in fact if flowers a lacking I would say aim for a fertiliser aimed to promote blooms.
A fertiliser higher in phosphorus is required to promote flowering.
The second number in the analysis on a fertiliser pack is the percentage of phosphorus in the mix. For example, a bag of 0-8-0 would contain 8 percent phosphorus.
There are specific fruit tree fertilisers available in the garden centres, so i advise using one of those.

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Liparis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good tips already, a couple of others, first one is probably too late, but did you check if there was blossom buds swelling before the leaves started appearing? If blossom buds were there, then some of those frosts we had could well have dropped them as they were opening, you'd be surprised how easily that's missed. Mine have loads of blossom buds at the moment - too early for leaves coming out here - but my main concern now is keeping the bullys' at bay. The last few years I've seen an increase in Bullfinches, this year they seem to be everywhere, they are the scourge of the fruit farmer/gardener. They can strip the buds off trees in minutes, their favourite grub is fruit buds.
If you take on GPI's tips this year, my next course of action would be severe pruning. Next winter at pruning time, grit your teeth, brace yourself and really prune hard. Prune this years growth back to the third or fourth bud, it's one of those jobs that needs eye, feel and hands on to do, personally I would go back to the first or second bud, but I'm reluctant to advise that long distance. Only this coming seasons growth, mind you. I'm not aquainted with that variety, so I don't know if it's a tip bearer or spur bearer, you might be needing to encourage spurs, if that is it's style, so good hard pruning will encourage those.
Failing blossom next spring, you may have to resort to bark ringing or root pruning, but we'll leave that until then.
But in the meantime, keep an eye out, see if you have a lot of Bullfinches around.
Bill.

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bullfinch, tough looking buck. Wink


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Liparis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the brute! Laughing
In the Raspberry farms in the north of Scotland they were allowed to take them as cagebirds or shoot them (under licence) they became such a pest. It was stopped when it was realised that the poor birds were in danger of becoming endangered. For a lot of years after this was outlawed, farmers vigorously campaigned to have them put on the vermin list, which would then mean any Tom, Dick or Harry could shoot them. I don't think it happened, but I'm not sure.
In all fairness they did cause millions of pounds worth of damage, but I prefer to have the birds Very Happy really, I'm quite happy to see their numbers increasing around me.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

an unpruned apple tree will fruit earlier than a pruned one. A bud can do one of three things a grow and produce a shoot b turn into a fruit bud c remain dormant. I fertilizer or plant food is balanced low nitrogen to phosphates and potash then fruit buds should develop. pruning hard back encourages growth and delays fruit bud formation, if shoots are very long try tying them down below the horizontal onto the stem or stake. The sequence is buds first, then blossom then pollination and finally fruit.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a dwarf tree and bought 5 years ago, there is now a need to encourage fruiting spurs. You won't get fruit spurs unless you prune hard. Pruning should, in actual fact take place twice per year to encourage spurs. In late summer 1/3 of the seasons growth, at least, should be removed, this will encourage side growths. During the dormant season, your side growths should be pruned hard back to encourage spurs thus fruit. for tip bearing trees, the side growths should only be pruned to keep it tidy. Leave a seasons growth and you may encourage some buds but not enough to have a sufficiently productive tree.
Bill.

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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

medieval knievel wrote:
we had a tree which suffered from mildew the last couple of years, and didn't blossom. we reckon we beat the mildew last year, so we're hoping for blossoms this year.

well, we didn't completely beat the mildew, but the apple tree is blossoming.

there are still a few mildewed leaves - they seem to be mainly on the buds on the ends of the branches.
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verge
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

medieval knievel wrote:

well, we didn't completely beat the mildew, but the apple tree is blossoming.

there are still a few mildewed leaves - they seem to be mainly on the buds on the ends of the branches.


Getting there. Very Happy More tender loving care this season and a dry summer and you should see further improvement next year.

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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grow Katy apples. Katy is a spur-bearer and is self-fertile. It's an early apple, so it doesn't store well or keep for very long. It's a very juicy apple, sweet, with a distinct strawberry flavour. It also makes pretty good cider. The only reason I can think of why yours is not blossoming is that you might be pruning off the flower buds. My advice would be: stop pruning it altogether.
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