Delayed pruning cont

This week I’m tending my orchard and nursery, pruning, mulching, straightening trees and the like. Flower set is extremely heavy this year with lots of open apple flowers- and I’m going after some of those flowers on varieties particularly susceptible to biennial bearing that I’m almost certain will way overset fruit this year.

For Spitz and Goldrush, I thin the flower clusters to about 4" apart usually leaving more than half of the spurs devoid of fruit. They can begin storing energy for next years flowers now. This technique has worked very well for me. I will do more thinning about a week after petal fall, leaving only a single fruit on each spur holding them. I will then gradually thin fruit to about one apple every 6-8".


In your experience, is Golden Delicious susceptible to biennial fruiting or is it just my tree?

I usually leave more fruit on the trees because I have such a problem with the Giant Asian Hornet ruining so many

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For a later season apple it is not strongly prone to biennial bearing but there are many variables beyond just how heavy the crop is. Have you tried trapping out the hornets? We have a variety of very large hornets that doesn’t appear in my orchard but is in orchards I manage closer to the ocean. They will go into wasp traps baited with 30% concentrated apple juice. There’s little doubt they’d work on any wasp or hornet going after apples.

I’ll have to try to find some of those traps. These hornets are gigantic and I’ve been spraying them by hand.

Concerning the biennial apples, I have Fuji, Jonathan, Gala, and Golden Delicious. The Golden is the only one that acts biennial

Here, Fuji is the one of those that is most prone to biennial bearing. It is well known to growers in my area as being so. I am talking about as grown on trees with vigorous enough roots to stand without support, not dwarfs.

I’ve noticed that established trees on seedling rootstocks seem less prone to biennial bearing. GD is probably the least vigorous of those varieties, so maybe the problem is not enough vigor.

I’m surprised the wasps don’t go after the Gala.

In less humid areas of the U.S. some small growers use this to keep insects from fruit.

The asian hornets go after everything

Mine definitely tends to biennial. I had about 30 apples on a fairly small tree year before last and none last year. Assuming I get a good set I’ll thin more this year. It’s one I usually eat off the tree and I like the long fruit bearing period.

It has an open airy look compared to my other trees and I like that. Sorry for the post. I ran into it one year with the lawnmower and I’ve been trying to straighten it ever since. :face_with_thermometer:

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