This season has been one for a very long stretch between first and last blooming apples, which, in my region in southern NY state, are usually only about a week apart and close enough for some overlap, except for the rare, extreme late bloomer.
However, this season it has been frustrating to wait for the last apples to drop their petals, probably the result of so much cool rainy weather during the bloom period.
I spray scores of orchards and try to accomplish protection from most insects and fungus with two sprays, or at least only two containing insecticide. Usually I don’t get much damage to peaches, pears, plums, cherries, cots or apples before the slow pokes drop their petals, but this year, I was seeing damage before that.
I finally started spraying before last apples lost their petals at some sites, and just avoided those specific trees. Hopefully a single spray will protect those apples.
Some of the trees that were problematic had two varieties on them, however, so protection is more doubtful. It made me realize the importance of grafting varieties with a similar bloom time if you are using poison to protect fruit, or if you are counting on them to cross pollinate.
The latest varieties I noticed were Kidd’s Orange-Red, Suncrisp, Brambly’s Seedling, Roxbury Russet and N. Spy.
For home growers, an additional spray may not be a problem, but you may want to keep late and earlier bloomers not only off the same tree but far enough apart on separate trees so as not to inadvertently get spray on the later bloomers.