I have about a dozen Sweet 16 trees and 3 Candy Crisp trees here in Minnesota 4b, and none of them produce fruit.
The trees were planted in 2016 and 2017 (on G41 rootstock) and they look healthy. They are surrounded by literally dozens of other apple varieties from early to late bloomers. Lots of those others varieties are fruiting, but these trees have never produced a single fruit.
It’s mystifying and frustrating to me! Every year, I think they just need one more year. but I have Northern Spy apples fruiting that were planted the same time and they are famously slow to bear.
I’m tempted to cut them down and topwork with better producing varieties, but first I thought I’d ask you. Any ideas?
My Sweet 16 is a pretty upright tree (I don’t have Candy Crisp). Have you tried securing your branches down to encourage formation of fruit buds? If your tree is putting out upright branches, try securing some down at about a 45 degree angle and you may see some bud formation this year for blooms next year. You say they aren’t producing fruit, are they blooming? If they’re blooming pulling the branches down is irrelevant and you need to address compatible pollinators.
Sweet 16 has yet to produce here in 4a/3b MN. That after being grafted to a bearing wild apple 5 years ago. Candy Crisp didnt survive its 2nd winter.
i have sweet 16 and its parent frostbite grafted on a 6’ 5yr. old sargents crab. been on there 3 years and both set about 20 fruit on 4 grafts for the 1st time this spring. they are about the size of a marble now. maybe its the crab that causes it to fruit sooner?
I also have a sweet 16 here in west central MN that I purchased bareroot from a nearby soil conservation district and planted either spring of 2018 or 2019. Last year was my first harvest of sweet 16 apples and they were a real pleasure to taste. The cherry flavor was unmistakable and the slight black licorice/anise flavor developed more as the apples ripened. If you can be patient i believe they are definitely worth it. Overall tree height is around 10-12 ft at the moment.
I think you want to bend branches down and cut back on fertilizer. Some trees just take longer to bear. My Sweet Sixteen has it’s first apple this year. It was planted in 2020 on G935 rootstock. I would of probably had apples earlier but deer damage set the tree back. I have other trees that took longer to bear apples for one reason or another. This is the first year I had a good crop on Ashmead’s Kernel. It was planted in 2016 on G11. Hang in there at some point you will get apples but if you bend the branches down that will speed up the process.
I seem to recall that one of Sweet 16’s parents was, in fact, Northern Spy. That might well slow it down a bit. I planted one grafted on MM111, and even here in Northern California, it too a year or two longer to bear than I’d expected.
My Sweet 16 limb grafted to a wild apple is at about 70 degrees from the trunk. It still hasn’t produced a single blossom in a number of years.
has any of the others had blooms on that tree? if not maybe its the parent tree holding it back?
Yep, I’ve got a few other varieties tacked onto that tree that have produced fruit, as has the mother tree.
2 Sweet 16 on M.111 that haven’t been pulled down:
Here’s a pic of my sweet 16 tree. It is currently grafted with 9 other varieties as well. Along with sweet 16 from this tree I should get to sample Ashmeads Kernel, Pipsqueak, Northern Spy and possibly one other variety.
My Sweet 16 is also very slow to fruit.
I had a branch of Sweet 16 on my frankenapple and it fruited third year, very vertical growth. I removed it though, as I didn’t care for the flavor at all.