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 Saving my Apple trees 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:21 am
Posts: 1
Post Saving my Apple trees
I have 2 yellow transparent apple trees in my back yard and a new honeycrisp I planted to help pollinate them. I am new at this and need advice how to save the existing trees and how to grow the new one. The two existing have brown spots on the leaves, and get few apples, 6 to 10 at the most. One is about 15 ft and the other maybe 20. Any advice would help.

Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:33 am

Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Posts: 184
Post Re: Saving my Apple trees
Well, the first bit of advice is: feel free to drop in to this "forum" in the future and check back with people. The tritism "we are all learning" is absolutely completely true in this case.

Now, as to your trees. Honeycrisp is a good choice in that it has a really good sugar content.
However, if you planted the Honeycrisp to make sure you have cross-pollination, that may or may not be as critical as you think. You see, in MOST urban settings (are you in an urban or suburban setting?) there are usually enough apple trees within a few blocks that have been planted by neighbors that cross-pollination is not a problem. Your tree will more or less be naturally be pollinated.
But why only a few apples on your Transparents? Ahhh....that's the problem....and it is one I am finding with some of the trees I work on as well.
A lot of posters here will wonder what kind of pruning has been done in the past on your tree and that will be the first thing they will think of. You don't want too much pruning (that unsettles the tree) nor too little pruning (leaving only old limbs).....and what kind of pruning you do is a bit problematic....not too much, but a little bit.
Some will wonder if you don't have enough bees or other pollenators. My own suspicion is that you do, though, and that that is not the problem.

Frankly, my own "hobby horse" is this: the past few Springs in the PNW have been unusually wet, cool and overcast....and the fruit set usually takes place from the PREVIOUS on some varieties, you may not have a good fruit set because of insufficient sunlight in May and June the year before.
Does that explain everything? No, absolutely not. Because varieties like Akane seem to do well, no matter what.
Some will wonder how many years you have been watching your Yellow Transparents......this is a variety that does have alternate bearing years and it could be this year will be abundant (and you may even want to thin) and the next year will be sparse again.
So, bottom line is I don't know why some varieties are not doing well nor why your variety is not doing well.... but this year I myself plan to experiment with some trees where I am having problems with ideas like hand-pollinating, scoring, fish emulsion bloom spraying and other techniques beyond the scope of this current thread at the moment.
For you, the simplest thing to do is make sure you cover the basics, watch your trees and stay in touch with other hobby enthusiasts as you learn the essentials.

As to the brown on the leaves, this could be apple scab, a fungus, or some other problem also attributable to unusual amount of wetness we have been experiencing. More info (like a picture) probably needed.

I hope I didn't over-talk what little I know.

Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Saving my Apple trees
Does Yellow Transparent have useful pollen? Make sure your other trees are blooming at the same time. Look it up on google.
JohN S

Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:59 pm

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Saving my Apple trees
First, I’ve no idea what you’ll do with two trees of yellow Transparent’s... the joke is, they’ve got a four-hour window of perfection; any sooner - and they’re too green, later - they’re mush. I believe they’re great pollinators for early blooming varieties, like Gravenstein, but would likely benift from another early blooming variety …I’m not sure where Honeycrips fall on the bloom timeline.

Not sure how old they are, but they sound unpruned and leggy. Left alone, apple trees mainly grow up, until they fall over from the weight of their limbs. And, they produce very few fruiting buds, mostly vegetative growth. Also, Transparent’s are one of the most vigorous of apple trees, right there with Gravenstein’s, and prone to take off.

Pruning, or putting the ‘fear of death’ into them stresses them to the point of producing ‘offspring,’ or fruit. It’s not too late to prune, if you’ve any idea how - go for it.

Personally, I’d graft several of the limbs of either Transparent tree to something else… but that’s a bit of a trick if you’ve never messed around with grafting and can’t find a grafter. ..I suspect there are some perfect unproductive ‘upright’s’ for placing a few different varieties on; just about any other apple would be preferable to, in my opinion, that many Transparent’s. They’re one of the most productive varieties I’ve seen, and the grafts I have (inside an old Gravenstein) are very consistent.

A good point was made regarding our last Pacific NW’s never-ending-springs – I had two of the worst fruit years in …over 25. And, I wouldn’t worry about the spots on the leaves, as mentioned, they’re likely scab and will be pushing new leaves pretty soon.

Not sure if any of this is answering your questions, but check in with follow-up Q’s if not.

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Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:25 pm

Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: Saving my Apple trees
John S wrote:
Does Yellow Transparent have useful pollen? Make sure your other trees are blooming at the same time. Look it up on google.
JohN S

YT has good pollen.

Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:09 pm

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Saving my Apple trees
Yellow Transparent is an early bloomer, so get another type of apple that blooms early.
John S

Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:34 pm
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