[NAFEX] Fw: NAFEX list]

Hector Black hblack1925 at fastmail.fm
Mon Jul 11 12:20:04 EDT 2005

A friend sent these questions to me asking if I would post it on the Nafex site.  I guess he figured one had to be a mamber.   Thanks for your replys - I will forward them to him.
    Hector Black, zone 6 middle TN.   He is in same zone.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: hblack at toolkitmail.com 
To: hblack1925 at fastmail.fm 
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 8:09 AM
Subject: [Fwd: NAFEX list]

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: NAFEX list
From:    "John Hepler" <JHepler at TWLakes.net>
Date:    Wed, June 29, 2005 12:45 am
To:      hblack at twlakes.net

Hi Hector--
Could you forward this to your nafex list for us? A sad
problem here. I have a pretty good guess as to what to do, and we  have to
get on it.

yr pal,  Sandy

We are hoping you can help us identify a problem with our apple trees.

The trees were planted mostly about 18 years ago. They are in good 
health, apart from some twig blight (a form of fire blight) which has 
gotten into some of the trees in recent years.

Up until last year, most of the trees bore well each year. Then last 
year, and again this year, there was a good fruit set but most of the 
crop dropped off early. By the end of May most trees are virtually  empty.
  Several early trees have a good number of apples but are now  very small
(average size of 2" and under at maturity); in the past  these were decent

A similar problem has afflicted our apricot tree, which has set well  the
past few years but then lost all its fruit within a month or so.  Some of
the apricots fall off almost immediately after the bloom;  others grow for
a month and look to be doing well, then suddenly drop  off. We suspect,
but are not sure, that an insect such as plum
curculio may be responsible for the apricot problem. (Curculios are 
definitely getting into the peaches, but these don't fall off the way  the
apricots do.)

Apples had not been affected until last year, so we do not know if it  is
the same thing affecting both crops or two separate problems.

We are trying to figure out why, and also to find out possible
solutions for the problem. Pertinent information follows.

(1) The soil for the apple trees looks good, and soil tests taken  2004
did not indicate a problem, according to the top fruit expert  from U of

(2) We are located fairly high on a ridge, with a nice microclimate,  so
late freezes have not been a problem.

(3) We grow organically, so there are a variety of insects around.

(4)  Trees are well trimmed; we keep a nice variety of meadow
grasses/weeds cut underneath.

5) The apricots have dropped off early every year, and the apples  dropped
off early last year and this year. However we also have
peaches, pears, and cherries, and these crops all seem unaffected by  the

6)  In the past 5 years we have applied lime twice, and CaSO4 once,  to
the apples but not much to the peaches or pears.

7) we have terrific green growth and assume low nitrogen is not the problem

Any suggestions appreciated. Thank you for any help you are able to provide.

js hepler
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