[NAFEX] Precocity

Ed Forest edforest55 at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 18 09:19:19 EDT 2005

I have some beds of some young apple trees, under 5 ft, 3/8" to 1/2", all 
standard stock, great condition, roots are very healthy, no disease, no 
insect damage, but they have done something very unusual this year, about 
1/4 of the 35 different varieties have at least one specimen that is 
blossoming. In 13 years of growing apples in beds I have not seen anything 
like it. I can only think of a couple  things that seemed unusual last year: 
that during the early spring, they had a lot of water, (other details: last 
year  it was a cold, prolonged spring. Last fall was an ideal predormancy, 
gradual cooling of temps over weeks and no sudden freezes.)
My best guess is that, the phenomenon could be related to that crucial time 
in early summer where the fruit set is determined by the . . . what do you 
call them, the leaves right by the blossoms, that during that time there was 
plenty of light, plus there was plenty of water . But then again, I have 
some 7 year old standards in an orchard setting that have had  plenty of 
water gathering capacity and have yet to set fruit. What could it be about 
this bed, this year? Could it be that crowding in beds could cause this?   
Oh yeah, I remember something else, the vigor of that bed was greater than 
usual, there was a lot of heat and sun and lots of water. Could it be that 
vigorous growth plus crowding could stimulate flowering? I don't know. 
Anyone have an idea?

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