[nafex] No Fruit

Don Yellman dyellman at earthlink.net
Thu May 10 11:33:09 EDT 2001


For Robert:

    I don't know anything about autumn olive, but I do know that it
often takes trees several years to begin to set fruit, even though they
may bloom profusely.  Other factors may influence fruit set as well,
such as extremely early bloom and lack of pollinating insects.  Sweet
corn can wind pollinate, but fruit trees can't.

    As an example, I have two Cornelian cherries out in the front yard,
of two different varieties, spaced about 15 feet apart.  They are now in
their fourth season, but began to bloom lightly in the first season
following planting.  They  have grown up and increased bloom each year
thereafter.  But they never set a single Cornelian cherry.  Blossoms
would fall off, just as you describe with your autumn olive.  Cornelian
cherry is a plant that really blooms early --- even before apricots and
plums.

    This spring, I took a small artist's brush and went back and forth
between the trees when they were about at full bloom, transferring
pollen from one tree to another.  I couldn't see the pollen on the
brush, but I figured it was there.  I did this several times.  Made me
feel very much like a bee.  There were absolutely no pollinating insects
around, other than myself.

    Sure enough, even though the trees are still quite small --- about 4
1/2 feet --- I now have a large set of Cornelian cherries on both.  Even
with all this fiddling, about 50% of the blossoms set fruit, but many of
those have multiple fruits on each cluster.  It's too late for this
season, but you might wish to try this technique next spring.

Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA


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