How To Thin Apple Trees
Our apple trees are loaded with fruit, therefore it’s time to thin fruit. You can thin your apple trees by hand or thin by spraying the tree with Sevin. The latter method leaves a lot of room for error, it can remove too little or too many apples and leave you with a bad harvest. We choose to thin our apple trees by hand so we have more control and so we don’t have to spray our trees with a harsh chemicals.
Other Ways To Thin Apple Trees
Although Sevin is considered almost organic by many gardeners the side effects of using it leave a lot to be desired. It can affect the respiratory, reproductive, nervous, and cardiovascular systems, along with the blood, skin and the cholinesterase of the body. According to the Center for Disease Control, side effects include blurred vision, nasal discharge, sweating, salivation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremor, skin irritation, and convulsions. Information on Sevin.
Will Apple Trees Self Thin?
Apple trees will thin themselves to some degree during the June fruit drop so don’t freak out if you find lots of little apples on the ground. However, you still may need to do some thinning of your own.
A couple of apple trees fruit has reached the size that they must be thinned so they don’t damage the other fruit or tax the tree beyond its limit. Like with the peaches that we thinned a while back touching fruit will be damaged and too many can break branches.
Why Thin Your Apples
To much fruit can tax the health of the tree, cause apple tree branches to be too heavy, cause small fruit and damage other fruit when it touches. It’s also harder for the fruit to dry which can cause fungus to get a foothold.
When To Thin Your Trees
Ideally, you’ll want to thin your apples in early spring, but can be done through summer. Apples will auto thin it’s fruit called the “June Drop” (doesn’t always happen in June). However will often retain the withered fruit on its limbs.
Thinning Your Apples By Hand
When you find clusters of 2-6 apples, you will want to thin down to one healthy apple. Start by removing anything with damage, or malformed, by using sterilized pruning shears or scissors and carefully snipping the stem.
Be careful not to damage the spur as this can discourage future harvests. After you have removed those cut out the smallest apples from the cluster. Continue until only one apple remains.
You may have to remove some large healthy fruit. However in the long run, it will help you get larger healthier fruit. Prune apples until there are 6-8 inches between fruit. The single large fruit is called the “Kings fruit”. If you find two similarly sized apples remove the one with less sun exposure.
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Before you go check out:
- How To Thin Peaches
- Adding Chickens To Your Flock
- How To Transplant Seedlings To Your Garden
- How To Raise Friendly Ducks