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Apple Tree Fruit

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Hey everyone,

I have a few apple trees I've grown from seed. Two of which started producing in the 2nd year...its now the 3rd year.

I haven't pruned them at all, but I'm wondering about whether or not I need to thin the apples. It's too late for that this year, but the apples were very small last year and this year, more like crabapples. I'm wondering if its because they're not clones of other varieties and that's just how they are, or because I've elected not to thin them. There are a few apple trees near my home that are not kept at all, but they aren't "wild" either. Those have apples that are about 3x larger than mine without anyone thinning them.

Just wondering if any apple growers out there have experience with non-thinned apple trees and what their apples came out like.
 
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Clifford Armstrong Iii wrote:Hey everyone,

I have a few apple trees I've grown from seed. Two of which started producing in the 2nd year...its now the 3rd year.



That's awesome Clifford, congratulations! How are the apples?

I haven't pruned them at all, but I'm wondering about whether or not I need to thin the apples. It's too late for that this year, but the apples were very small last year and this year, more like crabapples. I'm wondering if its because they're not clones of other varieties and that's just how they are, or because I've elected not to thin them. There are a few apple trees near my home that are not kept at all, but they aren't "wild" either. Those have apples that are about 3x larger than mine without anyone thinning them.

Just wondering if any apple growers out there have experience with non-thinned apple trees and what their apples came out like.



I've never been in this situation (hope to be soon though ), but I would think that both not thinning and the apple trees being seedlings (not clones) could be affecting the fruit size.

Another factor could be their young age. From what I've seen, it seems like older trees usually produce bigger fruit. That's awesome that they fruited early, but it's also very young for the tree to be supporting a fruit load.

I guess it depends on what your preference is also. I'm ok with smaller and more fruit, and not having to thin the apples every year. It might help the tree grow faster and get more established quicker though if you remove some of the apples these first few years.

Congratulations again on what seems like very healthy and productive apple seedlings! Would love to see some photos if you have them!
 
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You thin the set fruit on trees so they will develop as large as their genetics dictate and to prevent limb damage from too much weight.

If the apples your seeds came from were the same size as the fruits on your seed grown trees, then there is only the weight on the branch issue to deal with thinning for.

If, however, the fruits your seeds came from were larger than your tree's fruits, then you need to thin for fruit size, which means you are going to take at least half of the fruits from every branch so the remaining ones can fully develop in size and flavor.

Redhawk

NOTE:
Most apple trees will set fruit in their third year of growth but orchardist remove all the fruit until the trees are in their seventh year.
This is for tree branch development and it reduces stress on the young tree, so the trunk will thicken and be able to support the main branches in later, heavy bearing years.
Do keep in mind that apples grown from seed are not going to be exactly like the parent fruit in most cases. (some are better and some are worse taste and or keeping wise)
I think it is great that you have succeeded in growing apple trees from seed, in their forever home, their root systems will be really strong.

If you haven't already, do get some mycorrhizae installed around their roots by injecting it in liquid form. (I use a metal dowel for this and do my watering in just inside the drip line.)
 
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