[NAFEX] When will my apple tree bloom?

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Tue Apr 27 22:49:42 EDT 2004

Thanks.  It doesn't look very vigorous to me, but I don't know what 
"normal" is.  It's grown about a foot each year, I'd guess, and the 
trunk is about 3/4" caliper at 1' up.  Truth be told, I've been 
disappointed with its vegetative growth, too, as it is still entirely 
within reach of the deer.  (I guess they'd have to reach up to get the 
leader this spring, but only because I staked it.)  It had no net 
growth the first year, due to almost no roots when I planted it (the 
vendor apologized for the quality of the remaining stock, and I agreed 
to buy anyhow) and some deer-pruning over the winter.  In addition to 
the 1' terminal growth at the top and along a few branches, I also get 
a few dozen spurs that grow less than an inch.

I suspect the problem is competition from a nearby oak, for both 
sunlight and soil, which is why I've decided to cut down on other 
competition, but who knows.  I also have a half dozen grafts on a 
nearby crab that don't bloom.  They are 4 and 5 years old, and show no 
interest in blooming.  The crab blooms profusely - it is in tight 
cluster, now, and it's really obvious which branches are grafted - they 
are the ones with no pink.  Some of the grafts grow weakly, but others 
are quite vigorous - the ashmead's kernel branch puts on more than a 
foot each year, and now has about 8 terminal points.  The crab doesn't 
get full sun, either, but I thought since it was healthy and bloomed, 
it should be a good enough location.  But perhaps crabs are just more 
floriforous than larger apples.

But hey, if sudden oak death makes it up the coast, i will have far too 
much sun.  :(  Being a pessimist, I've started researching alternative 
shade trees. . .Blight resistant chestnuts may be only a few years 


On Apr 27, 2004, at 9:17 PM, David Baldwin wrote:

> Hi Ginda,
> MM.111 is one of the least dwarfing rootstocks, and usually precocity 
> and dwarfing are quite related, so it
> would be normal to be slower to come into bearing.
> Things that will make the tree grow more vigorously, such as pruning 
> or fertility will be more of a hindrance to
> flowering. How long is the new terminal growth each year? Always kinda 
> hard to make suggestions without seeing I
> guess...
> Anyway, my point was that if the tree is quite vigorous, then I 
> wouldn't kill the grass around the tree or mulch
> it. That's more likely to encourage vegetative growth, when you want 
> flower bud formation.
> db
> - in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley - where our maritime climate is 
> holding the buds back quite nicely so far -
> with the dreaded combination of green tip, scab ascospores and lots of 
> tractor seat just around the corner...
>> I planted a Jonathan on M111 four years ago.  For the last three 
>> years,
>> it has had two distinct types of buds.  Every year, I hope that the 
>> fat
>> buds at the ends of spurs will flower, but they never do.  The little
>> buds that lie flat to the branches grow new branches, and the fat buds
>> produce a ring of leaves.
>> So, does this mean that the tree is "mature" enough, but isn't getting
>> enough sun/nutrients/water/???  Or do I just need to wait?  The tree 
>> is
>> not in an ideal spot (I don't have any ideal spots), but it gets sun
>> most of the day, and this year I plan to kill back the grass around it
>> more aggressively.
> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
>     Did you eat an APPLE today?
> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
> David Baldwin
> Courtney Hill Farm
> Woodville  Nova Scotia

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