Advertisement
(Page 2 of 3)

Fruit trees with no fruit

The Coastal Gardener

July 02, 2010|Ron Vanderhoff

Unhealthy trees may bear poorly, if at all. Root rots, boring insects, crown galls, oak root fungus and other maladies are almost invisible to the untrained eye, but can put so much pressure on the tree that its fruit is almost completely sacrificed. Tree health begins early, with proper placement in the garden, well-drained soil, full sun and compatible plants nearby. Shade, often caused by overcrowding, reduces flowering and fruiting considerably. Old trees often fruit poorly, due to their lack of vigor and the onset of internal diseases and pests.

Reason No. 5: Poor culture

Cultural practices for good tree health include cultivating or mulching to reduce weed competition for nutrients and water. Fertilize early each spring and summer with an organic fertilizer and mulch as needed. Water deeply and infrequently, soaking the entire root system but keeping the trunk primarily dry, instead of brief frequent bursts from overhead sprinklers.

Advertisement

Reason No. 6: It was poorly pollinated or needs a pollinator

Without good pollination, fruit trees will have lots of flowers, but fail to produce fruit. To have fruit, trees need bees and other pollinators during their brief bloom period. Insecticides applied at the wrong time will discourage or even kill many of these pollinators. Furthermore, if the tree happens to be blooming at the same time we experience a prolonged rainy or cold period, the pollinators won't have a chance to do their job.

Many varieties, including most plums, pluots, plumcots, almonds, apples, pears and a few citrus require cross-pollination from a variety that blooms at the same time, with compatible pollen. These "self-unfruitful" varieties cannot produce fruit themselves — they need a mate.

Reason No. 7: It produces fruit in alternate years

Some fruit trees, especially avocados, apples and apricots, are alternate bearing — they bear heavily one year and little the next. This tendency can be negated somewhat with early and judicious fruit thinning during the heavy years.

Reason No. 8: It was pruned incorrectly

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|