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8 year old Chehalis apple not fruiting, Hillsboro OR
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Author:  cadams@ipns.com [ Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  8 year old Chehalis apple not fruiting, Hillsboro OR

I planted 2 bare root Chehalis dwarf or semi dwarf trees about 8 years ago. The trees seem vigorous and healthy but they have little or no fruit. We have 30 year old Golden & Red Delicious, Gravenstein, and Melrose (maybe?) trees close by - they are productive. We had just a few Chehalis apples in prior years. Last year there were about two dozen large and very tasty apples. We don't have a single apple this year and it seemed to flower very little. My husband pruned the trees last winter and maybe didn't do it properly but he would have done it the same way he prunes our very productive Golden Delicious tree. (We have since taken a pruning class.)

They are about 25 foot from a large (~60') fir tree - it doesn't interfere with all day full sunlight. We use drip irrigation about every 2 - 3 weeks. We are in the country, at 900" elevation outside Hillsboro, OR. We would love to take down the fir but felling it would squash the Christmas trees which we raise for sale in the adjacent field. We have lots of honey bees and bumble bees but they seemed sparse early in spring the past two years.

Any suggestions would be welcome - I would like to get these trees to produce.

Author:  John S [ Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 8 year old Chehalis apple not fruiting, Hillsboro OR

I would look into the timing of your pollination. When do your apples bloom? If not at the same time, they won't cross pollinate.
John S
PDX OR

Author:  jafarj [ Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 8 year old Chehalis apple not fruiting, Hillsboro OR

viewtopic.php?t=312

According to the list at the link above, Chehalis flowers early (does this comport with your observations). It may be blooming before the others. None of Melrose, Red or Golden Delicious are listed as blooming in the same group and Gravenstein is a triploid and pollen-sterile so wouldn't serve as a pollenizer.

So problem #1 could be that you don't have a pollen donor.

Problem #2 could be that an early flowering tree is more likely to be succeptible to frost damage (although, at least here, this year seemed great for apples).

Problem #3 could be that an early flowering tree may finish its bloom before pollenating insects have emerged and begun their activities.

Problem #4: none of those earlier things are relevant if the tree isn't flowering sufficiently, which you've noted. That could be related to pruning. Or I've heard that excessive vegetative growth can also cause that (happens sometimes when trees are in a lawn that is being fertilized and watered). Your watering doesn't sound excessive. How much is the tree growing each year?

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