With the first significant fruit loads on our Chestnut Crab and Crimson Crisp trees this year, we made our first attempt at bagging apples using the the standard ziploc sandwich bag method (with corners snipped for ventilation.) We bagged at the same time we thinned the fruit back in the first week of June, when the largest apple in each cluster was about the size of an acorn.
At that time, we found curculio bites on about 40% of the fruit, so we didn’t want to wait any longer to bag, but now that they’ve been bagged for almost two weeks, we’re seeing several bags (with detached apples and stems inside) down in the grass on any moderately breezy day. It seems that the bags are acting like sails and blowing with enough force to sever some of the immature stems, and we’ve already lost about 20-30% of the bagged fruit on each tree.
We thinned pretty heavily before bagging, so it doesn’t seem like the lost apples are just part of the tree’s normal “June drop”, but perhaps I’m wrong with that assumption?
Has anyone else who uses the bagging method encountered wind damage like this? Is the only solution to just wait longer to bag when the stems start to get a bit sturdier?