This year my apple tree fruit setting gone good and my apple fruit crop will be very high but I am anxious about size of fruits so suggest best ideas and methods so that I can tackle mentioned problem.Royal apple verity’s in Northern India .
Not some of the fruit, but most of it. First limit every cluster to the king, or the largest if there is one, but to one fruit. Ultimately it takes about 30 sun exposed leaves to create a high quality apple.
I end up removing entire apple clusters, or flower clusters, first to 4" apart for each single fruit left and then 8" a few weeks later when I know the crop is fairly safe. The first thinning should be done ASAP, as soon as fruit sets if at all possible. However, if you are going for quality and not just size- that is higher flavor (brix) thinning just a few weeks before harvest is extremely helpful if it wasn’t done sooner. You just lose most of the ability of using thinning to insure a crop the following year by then if biennial bearing is a problem. Also the size enlargement that is achieved by more cell division rather than from larger cells.
The size of apples is also affected by nitrogen availability during the first month of tree growth… either spread about a cup of urea under the branches or use your own urine ASAP. Soil should also be moist during this time of rapid cell division. Commercial growers sometimes apply a foliar application in early spring. Early spring apps serve spur leaves that are the first to emerge, later apps serve competing shoots.
Thirdly, fruit and nearby leaves need to be well exposed to sunlight, shaded fruit tends to be small and bland. Old timers used to say that after you finish pruning a tree should be open enough to throw a cat through it. Either an open center or a kind of Christmas tree shape are the usual forms used by growers to help evenly distribute light through the tree. In vigorous trees some judicious summer pruning can help keep adequate light on the leaves closest to fruit.
However, in some regions with strong sun, too much sun on fruit can scald it. I’m not familiar with the climate of N. India so you probably should seek out some local help on this. I live in northeastern U.S. where sun scald of fruit is not an issue.
The Fruit thinning process takes much time and labour to selective thinning but this is not actual problem , the problem is tree size( approx 8m tall) and thinning process gets very Costly
And I also want to know, what spray do you do after fruit set to prevent apple diseases and quality?
Thanks for your suggestions sir love from Shimla ,The hills queen
You need to cut your trees down to normal height and top work the main trunks so that you can reach every fruit from a standing on the ground position. I had your issue several years ago and did just that. Now I can reach every fruit on my 30 year old trees.
Check the guides. Alan has posted a great article about spraying for the backyard orchardist. It’s better than most university guides I have seen. Scott has also made a great post about a low impact spray schedule. I think Scott is in a more disease prone location than most of us too.
In this country commercial growers use a mixture of Sevin (old formula) and a plant hormone, I believe it’s NAA, to chemically thin fruit. It must all be done within a few weeks of petal fall and is a complicated process because every variety responds differently to these chemicals, some more sensitive to it than others. Also weather of any given season must be considered in determining concentrations.
Most who come to his site are backyard growers. I don’t know what info is available free via the Indian gov. for commercial growers, but I wouldn’t want to depend purely on guidance from growers in a completely different climate. Here, the suppliers of agricultural chemicals and fertilizers for commercial growers often offer substantial guidance.
He says. “ the problem is tree size( approx 8m tall)”
That would be about 5 meters higher that I like to work. If an apple tree is allowed to grow so high that you cannot safely do the maintenance, the options are: 1. remove whole tree and plant a new one you can then limit the height of growth, 2. Cut off the scaffolds at a more moderate height above ground and graft the stub ends with scions of the varieties of choice then prune and train the new growth at a height where you can maintain the fruit, or live with what you have! There are many videos online about Top working and how to do it.