When to start thinning?

My early peach (maybe Earligrande but was mislabeled so will never know) as well as Flavor Grenade and all three Pluerries set prolifically this spring. Would you suggest thinning at the stage below?

Flavor Grenade:

Candy Heart:


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Wait for about dime size. Some of them at that size may self abort.

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Those look awesome and healthy. Wait a bit longer, some may drop off for you

How old are your Pluerries ? My Sugar Twist set well but Candy Heart only set one.

The Sweet Treat and Candy Heart are on their third leaf and the Sugar Twist and Flavor Grenade are on their second leaf…I think…heh. This is the first year any of them had a significant bloom. They are all loaded.

I was thinking that thinning early would promote larger fruit as the tree would spend less resources sizing up the unneeded fruit. I am thInking of giving the fruit another week or so then I would attack thinning.

If it’s the same as apples you should soon be able to tell by looking which have been pollinated and which have not. With apples the stems look weak and a little yellowish and the fruitlets will fall with a little flick or maybe a good shake. It makes it a lot easier, but with my trees it’s still necessary to be pretty ruthless with the remaining fruit. And you’re right, the sooner you can get the excess off the more there is left for the keepers!


I start at that stage. My thinking is it takes at least 3 times over the tree so why not start early. I’ve never felt I over thinned by starting early and then having them abort later. They only abort because there are way too many on the tree. If thinned early there is little or no abortion IME. The later assumes the fruit was pollinated and that you leave the biggest fruit.


I am probably going to start now. I guess only harm is fewer fruit but these are young trees and fewer fruit probably is a good thing for them


It is probably the case that the sooner you thin the bigger the fruit, all other factors being equal. The first part of sizing up fruit is about encouraging more cell division for each fruit- later it is about increasing cell size. More cells in ratio to volume= more flavor. Later sizing is encouraged with ample water and that is what can lead to bland, watery fruit as the cells aren’t increasing- they are filling with more water.


This makes sense, but a silly question for it; With my old eyes it seems I’m best to walk away for a day before thinning again otherwise I tend to overlook stuff; once you start thinning, is it best to finish it the same day or can it be done over a few days to a week in order to get a fresh view? I am not clear on how quickly thinning affects growth hence the timing curiosity.


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Whether to do it in one or a few days depends on your physical and mental stamina and, obviously, how many trees you have to work.

There is no need to wait a day to renew your perspective. Just walk away, look at the sky (or the pond, or the grandkids or…) for a minute and approach the trees from a DIFFERENT DIRECTION.

Just looking at it from a different direction will help you spot problem areas



It takes 2-3 weeks for me to thin any one tree. It helps to wait a while between thinnings. The bigger the fruit gets the thicker it looks.