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Help With Fruit Trees

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Seacowboys, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have several apple trees that are about five years old. They are very healthy and covered in fruit but the apples are very small and not much juice or flavor. These are Fuji and other large varietals that generally do well in this region. I also have a couple of pear trees the same age, very healthy but have yet to produce a single fruit. What am I doing wrong here?
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I'm no expert, but I've had apple trees. Are you thinning out the fruit when they're very small? That will allow the remaining fruits to be larger and to benefit from the tree's nutrients.
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    no expert here either. in fact i have probably killed more fruit trees with good intentions than george did with his axe. is fuji a self polinated variety. i suspect it is. now, how about the pear tree variety. and then there is the situation with the scarcity of bees.... polinators... just wondering .....
    added additional thoughts... reread your question, two pear trees, i am guessing different varieties one a polinator one not.... that puts it back in the bees ball park as a possible problem. but, next year when the pear trees are flowering you can hand polinate one pear tree with flowers from the other and vice versa. this will allow you to thin some of the flowers, thus allowing for larger fruit as well.... other than that i got no other ideas
  4. Ancesthntr

    Ancesthntr Monkey+

    Don't know much about apple trees as such, so I can't really help. Maybe visit your county agricultural extension office or give them a call.
  5. ISplatU

    ISplatU Monkey+

    Are you pruning the trees, and getting rid of the sap suckers?
  6. mpq2346

    mpq2346 Monkey+

    It's simple. You have to fertilize ground with iron rust. This is not a joke. My father told me about this trick in 1987. Working. Especially good for pear trees.
    All you need is to find old barrel or water tank and gather rust from inside.
    A half of a bucket per tree at autumn is enough. Put rust around the trunk and cover with ground layer.
  7. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    I don't know if that will work, but it definitely sounds like a survivalist way of doing things!
    I know they sell a product called "ironite" at Lowes? Wonder if it is the same concept.
  8. mpq2346

    mpq2346 Monkey+

    Yes, my father was REAL survivalist..
    The trick is related with magnetism, smth that apple trees needed a lot.
    May be. Never heard about "ironite"

    BTW, nice avatar with a father of AK47!
  9. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    The rule for pruning an apple tree is that when you are done you should be able to
    throw a cat through it and it not touch anything during the trip. In short the apple tree is growing itself to death.
  10. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    OMG ... you are in sooooo much trouble with CRC and Tracy .... lol .... abusing cats is not permitted..... ever.... lol
  11. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    The apples trees probably need to be pruned, see other users posts about that. Note, do not try the cat trick, it won't work. Best time for pruning is winter, but some can be done now, just cut out or pull off several of the smallest fruit. That should help.

    About the pear trees. Are the trees the same kind? If so, get another kind of pear, just one is needed, as pear trees I've had have to have two kinds for pollination to work right. The old fashioned pears weren't so fussy as these new breeds.
  12. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++


    For Iron rust put some long, large iron nails in the ground around the trees. As they slowly rust, it will keep the Iron that is essential for the plant there.

    Heard Borax helps with fruit tree setting

    Article on Nutrient disorders in fruit trees
  13. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    If the trees have never been pruned they need to be. If you want big apples then you have to thin the blossums out in the spring. Another thing you can do is if you butcher a animal/fish bury the bones/guts under the trees. This will give alot of nutrition to the tree. The pears likely need a polinator as has been said.

  14. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Apple Trees:

    It seems that although the trees are being pollinated satifactorily, the smallness of the fruit may be due to the large quantity of fruit being allowed to set.

    Thinning the fruit judiciously will force the trees to shunt its resources into fewer and larger fruit. Pruning will also help. Pruning dead, diseased and damaged wood will help the trees to maintain optimum health and direct nutrition to where it is most needed....particularly new wood growth which will develop fruiting buds. There are other reasons for pruning that will help the tree to grow healthily and aid in harvesting.

    Tree nutrition may possibly be an issue. Fertilising at the wrong time and with the wrong balance of nutrients may have negative consequences. Soil ph may affect nutrient uptake.....if the soil is too acid...or too alkaline, it may inhibit the uptake of some micronutrients essential for fruit set and fruit size.

    The following links will help with thinning, pruning and tree nutrition issues

    Home Fruit Production - Apples

    Fruit Trees in the Home Garden

    Pruning Apple Trees - Tips On How To Prune Apple Trees

    Pear Trees:

    Pears and Apples are both "pome" fruit with somewhat similar cultivation requirements. It seems odd that the apples fruit (albeit small) but the pears don't fruit at all.

    I suspect that the problem might be due to varieties that may not be compatible pollinators to each other. It might be worth while getting in touch with the Department of Agriculture in your state for advice. You may possibly have an early season variety and a late season variety that don't flower at the same time, or perhaps the bees aren't pollinating adequately, and may need a helping hand with manual pollination. Another possibility is that you may have an ornamental
    variety that is great for floral display but poor for fruit production.

    The above websites may be of assistance for your pear trees also.

    Youtube has a series of useful clips on pruning apple trees. (equally applicable to pear trees) Steve Hayes is a Brit, but his accent isn't too thick to understand. The first clip concentrates on shaping the tree, subsequent clips on particular pruning techniques.

    YouTube - Fruitwise guide to pruning apple trees-part 1

    Good luck with your trees!
  15. Joseph Thomas

    Joseph Thomas Monkey+

    I think pruning and thinning the fruit early on will cure the apple tree problem. As for the pears it sounds like a pollination problem. Bartlett's can't cross pollinate another variety, I think it's called sickles. Check out this web site. They have a lot of pollination information and their fruit tree calendar is great to give you a schedule for your orchard tasks. Hope it helps.

  16. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Iron for both.
    Frugal Method:
    If you live near a machine shop or steel mill, get a 5 gallon bucket of shavings if you can. Shavings have a ton of surface area and rust quickly. Clean the shavings of all oil, or cutting fluid. Put the clean shavings into a clean bucket or plastic lined wheelbarrow (I use 6mil poly, to protect the wheelbarrow). Cover the shavings with water and let nature do it's magic. Once the water gets downright brown with rust, carefully scoop the water and thoroughly wet the base of the tree. The liquid "rust" water is packed with iron, and the trees will absorb it quickly. Water the tree bases where you put the rust water thoroughly to ensure a good deep soak to get to the roots. Refill your rust maker with clean water and let nature work at it. Do this once a month, every month. The greenery will get bright, glossy and robust and the trees will grow like mad, producing fruit like crazy. Make sure you are fertilizing the trees at least once a year after the last frost also. This will ensure the trees have the basic nutrients.

    I have money to burn method:
    Buy a granulated tree fertilizer that has a high iron content, and fertilize at the drip line once a month, every month, after the last frost and until the next frost.

    Also WATER, WATER, WATER. Fruits are 60-80% water, without adequate water, the tree has nothing extra to store in fruit, and is just keeping itself alive. Remember, all fruiting plants put out more fruit when they have an abundance of nutrition and water. It is nature's way of taking advantage of bounty. Plants that thrive because they are well fed and watered are, for lack of a better term, programmed to reproduce and spread. Fruit, whether that be a grain, seed, nut, pod, berry, whatever, is the primary way a plant spreads it's genetics.

    Be ready to can, sell or give away your excess.
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