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Home Orchard Society Forums - View topic - June drop/alternate heavy bearing apples
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 June drop/alternate heavy bearing apples 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post June drop/alternate heavy bearing apples
I have apple trees that bear heavy one year, then light the next year. I remember reading that I should remove some of the fruit during the June drop of the heavy year to even the load over two years. I'm thinking that about now is when I might do this. It is so hard to do after a bad apple year like last year. Has anyone done this? Did it work? Did it break your heart?
John S
PDX OR


Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:41 pm
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:18 am
Posts: 111
Location: Corvallis, Oregon USA
Post 
I haven't done this, but have sure read a lot about biannual bearers; and if so many people say it works...it must help! Seems that it tends to depend on what variety, but that with a bit of care and effort you can train many biannual bearers mostly out of that tendancy after a few years of thinning; though you have to keep doing it or the tree will eventually return to every other year. Sure it's hard to pop off small apples, but would you rather have few to no apples every other year?! I just thinned out my small 4 year old tree, just too many for the size of the tree; though I haven't even gotten an apple from it yet! But better only a few than breaking branches:)
Dave


Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:01 am
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Pome News Editor

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Posts: 95
Post Biennial Bearing
John,
An article on biennial bearing apples will be in the Fall Pome News, along with a list of biennial apples. Here is an a brief part of the article that relates to your question.

What to Do to Break Biennial Bearing: Thin – Prune – Enhance Photosynthesis
Thin
Many varieties are classified as often biennial or biennial. Heavy crop loads trigger the biennial tendency. One way to limit the biennial tendency is to thin the fruit each year before the tree monitors its fruit set and determines how it is going to distribute the limited nutrients. The rule is to thin apples to one every six-eight inches. Use you your judgment. Some years fruit are only set on the warm, (south) side of the tree, then fruit can be closer. The textbook indicates one fruit for every forty-two leaves. Estimate and get a feel for the space occupied by forty-two leaves. And, yes, I have counted.
Prune
Another use of the limited nutrients is tree growth and storage. The growing tips of the stems and roots consume large amounts of nutrients. By limiting the number of growing points, i.e., water sprouts, during the late spring more nutrients will be available for fruit and flower set. Apples start setting next years flowers in late July, so removing water sprouts or other unwanted growing limbs will enhance next years flower set.
Enhance Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis primarily occurs in leaves. Controlling foliar diseases, scab and mildew, will enable the plant to synthesize more nutrients for the nutrient sinks. Keep dust off the leaves, it inhibits the sunlight to the leaf surface.
Pest can also remove leaf surface, slowing photosynthesis. Keep them under control.

Ted


Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:02 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 498
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: June drop/alternate heavy bearing apples


Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:33 am
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Pome News Editor

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Posts: 95
Post June Fruit Drop


Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:34 pm
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