This blossom on my Anna Apple tree looks peculiar, what do you think?
I think only half the blossom is in the photo.
It does look peculiar. My apple blossoms don’t yell my name!
What I meant by peculiar was the cluster has way more than the typical 5 flowers per cluster. So far, I have counted 15 flowers that will hopefully bloom on a single cluster not including the one that has bloomed already.
If only I could repeat this, that would be my new calling.
Ron, you live in Orange County California. You should expect your Anna Apple to flower 3 to 5 times per year. If there is a pollinator nearby then your fruits will be roundish otherwise they will be long, narrow, without seed cavity, and a bit less than flavorful. Don’t be concerned if it blooms precociously. Mine do the same thing. I thin them so that the size of the crop will be appropriate for what I believe is the volume of the roots. I read in your profile that you will “be working on new ways to improve gardening skills without herbicides and or pesticides.” Please understand that ancestors of your Apple and its rootstock are from an area that is rich in minerals not found in your soils (or composts) and void of many pests that thrive in our climate. As such you should be willing to accept many irregularities in your plants due to your approach to gardening.
I live in Orange County, and through trial-and-much-error let my Anna have 1 crop of apples which is about at its end now. All other flowering I pinch off. Also I do forced dormancy in fall by removing all leaves, and cut watering back to very little. The crop of apples I get are large and flavorful.
I did just learn from Richard about the unpolinated apples… another mystery solved by this group!
Anna is famous for heavy and precocious blossoming, and will do that just about anywhere, from here in equatorial Africa to zone 4 in upstate New York. Only Dorset Golden and Shell of Alabama will pollinate it, or else you get skinny hot air balloon-shaped fruits with no seeds.
For southern CA I highly recommend Gordon instead of Anna.
Question. I have Anna but I don’t have Dorsett or Shell however I have (I think) others that overlap Anna’s blooming time. Will the trees I have cross pollinate Anna?
Could be; Richard Fahey in NY said Anna is just another fall apple for them, and they don’t blossom in January like they do here. If your Anna blossom is delayed, then yes, others could pollinate it. The difference between pollinated and unpollinated is like night and day with it, from a skinny little thing to a fat croquet ball.
I think the skinny Anna is a pretty apple. It even has nice color. The important question is which tastes best.
My guess would be that the seeded apple would be sweeter.
I’ll give a second endorsement to Gordon — but not an ‘instead of Anna’ endorsement. Fortunately, I have enough space to not have to make an ‘If I could plant only one apple I’d only plant X’ kind of decision. Key features of Gordon are -
Self fruitfut. Green background color, red stripes (looks like a Beverly hills early on), stripes fill in covering roughly 1/2 the surface. Fruit good for cooking and fresh eating. Fruit is quick oxidizing. Blooms over long period Apr - July, which causes the fruit to mature at staggered times from August - Sept.
Keep up the good work, looking good over there.
Richard, Thanks for suggestion. I have a friend with Gordon who’s bringing me sample when ripe. Here’s a picture of granddaughter with Anna apple she picked, and would not let anyone else have a bite and ate it all. A big Anna endorsement
Another June-ish apple pollinator for Anna is ‘Ein Shemer’. (This is the primary pollinator used in Israel) Some here don’t like them (I believe the words used were “detestible”), but they’re a decent apple if picked appropriately. One key issue is the short period the apples can be harvested in the crisp stage, otherwise - mushy.
Here’s an update photo of this amazing cluster. How many flowers can you count on this single cluster?
My one thought is that the conditions where you Anna is blooming are way different than when our high-chill apples bloom in April/May here in Zone 5. The condition that is different is: you have lots of leaves! If our apples put that much energy into fruit buds they’d not have enough energy to make leaves to support the fruit. Yours has all those leaves and can afford to make that many blooms.
just a thought…
Here’s a Gordon apple picked today, for apple pie. This is a mammoth apple. I followed standard 1 apple per cluster thinning to size them up. They will color up to 1/2 red, but I found the fully colored apples a bit mushy this year – so I picked the crisp ~ 1/4 red apples. I’ll share scions if any body wants them this spring.