[NAFEX] home orchard problems

baylands baylands at cros.net
Sat Oct 2 15:51:30 EDT 2004

I'm surely not an expert on this, but doesn't most of the fruit literature
advise that fruit trees on dwarfing root stock have about a 20 year life
expectancy? It would seem to me that your trees have grown old. 

I have a mixture of apple trees on dwarf, semidwarf and standard rootstock.
Last year was the biggest crop of apples that I have had since starting the
orchard 15 years ago. The fruit was so heavy that many of the limbs were
breaking from the trees. This year 90% of the trees have no fruit at all.
The heavy crop last year stressed them too much. The trees are very healthy.
I've summer pruned so that they will be discouraged from overbearing next
year after their year off this year. (The trees were of many different
varieties ---- heirloom and new disease resistant types.)

I have a question. My 14 year old Liberty Apple (scab resistant) has been
without scab since it started bearing. Last year the heavy crop had what
appeared to be heavy scab on all the apples. This year with a very small
crop there was once again no evidence of scab. Why? What happened? Did it
lose its resistence for one year and then get it back again?

Ro Chapman
The Baylands
Port Clinton, Ohio     Zone 5

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Jacquelyn Kuehn
Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2004 1:41 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: [NAFEX] home orchard problems

Dear NAFEXers,

Here's a question I received from a member, and wanted to put to you:

"more than 30 years ago, I planted a home orchard which now totals about 
60 trees.  Apple rootstocks are M-106, M-26 & 9, G-30, B9...the land had 
been in hay and legumes.  About ten years ago, I picked 64 bushels of 
apples, and a fairly good crop of pears, peaches etc.  The following 
years I picked fewer and fewer, and the last few years, almost none at all.
    "The trees are power-sprayed with oil in April.  After petal fall, 
we spray weekly with Imidan and Captan until Aug. 15.  The trees look 
healthy--litttle scab or insect damage.  ...Five years after planting, 
we fertilize the trees using 10-10-10.  ...We prune in winter.
    "Trees plante 8-10 years ago look healthy, but have borne little or 
no fruit this year.  Apples include Mutsu, Northern Spy, Melrose, Sweet 
Sixteen, holly, Keepsake, Spigold, Jonagold, Fuji and Gala.  Pears are 
Bartlett, Highland, Sirrine, Flemish Beauty, etc.  
    "At the suggestion of our Extension agent, we sprayed Ephithon on 
the apples this year, and also summer pruned.
    "Why is there so little fruit?"

Any help you could give our friend would be welcome.


Jackie Kuehn

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