That’s a gorgeous apple tree. I’m not sure we can expect to thin most varities either. I feel nature needs to do it for us with the exception of a few trees. King fruits I think are like baby birds in a nest the largest ones that hatch first will be the winners except on the rare occasion something goes wrong in which case the backups might survive. There are some apples and pears that are given to over produce like stone fruit. Climate may be a factor as well and our weather may play a role in this in Kansas. A good wind storm bends off it’s fair share of fruitlets.
How long has hosui had the problem of not setting fruit?
Also doesn’t pollination have to do with fruitlets hanging on?
I have one ‘Anoka’ tree…a standard, but smaller than most. It’s really the only one I have that over-crops every other year and I never get any apples of size. Most of my other trees do seem to drop and thin sufficiently on their own.
The young grafts though, thinning to keep the little trees from bending is going to be necessary since I have no plans to stake them…at least not this year.
I started out thinning too early and I’m pretty sure the king fruit was removed in many cases. After a couple of weeks the king starts to be more apparent and I start bagging. More of the fruit will have insect damage but these can be removed as I bag.
I do the same thing and leave the biggest fruit but I was assuming that they were the king fruit. Once I started this method I have very little later on drops.
@Auburn Thank you for this post- really important. As a “bagger” I thin early to help the remaining apples size up fast to nickel size/bagable size to reduce my clay sprays. In the past I removed most king apples in favor of ones hanging down so the zip lock bag hangs down and drains properly. This resulted in a ton of dropped bagged apples every year that I incorrectly blamed on plum curculio. This year I remembered I believe @mamuang wrote recently about leaving the king, so I did that this year. Most kings face the sky meaning the bag has to go on upside down causing the bags to fold over- so will see if they still drain water/condensation or if the folded bag spurs rot.
I don’t know… I thin flowers (actually harvest them for tea), thin fruitlets, thin after drop, and I still end up with too much fruit on the tree. The “king flower” must be the dominant flower on the cluster as that’s the one I leave alone and my clusters don’t seem to fail to produce.
The benefit of early and often thinning is that it frees up the tree from spending metabolic energy on something that will not pan out. I can see how a real orchard would benefit from leaving it alone (cost of human energy vs. cost of tree energy). If you are a little guppy like me with 10 apple trees, fussing around them is not a chore, is what I planted them for
The king is usually in the center of the cluster, right?
For apples, the king is the fruitlet in the middle of a cluster and has a shorter but stouter stem than the rest. As young fruitlet, it is usually larger than other fruitlets in the same cluster.
Yes that stouter stem is less apt to break off in wind after bagging. That just dawned on me this year too.
I’ve done some actual thinning, casually for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, on my apple trees during lunch and I need to amend my statements based on what I actually do, rather than what I intend, or remember that I do
One of the biggest considerations on which fruit to remove is how easily and quickly I can reach it with the snips, with preference going to clipping 2 or more at once. I also take into account orientation relative to other fruits, to deer browse, and likelihood to make the limb droop.