The Q&A Archives: Apple Trees Do Not Bud

Question: I have three golden delicious apple trees. Two are eight years old and one is four years old. The trees have never had buds. I transplanted and pruned them in 1998 thinking they were not getting enough sun but that did not help.
The trees are very healthy looking but they fail to produce. I live in Shelburne near Lake Champlain.
Is there something I can do to make them bud?

Answer: Golden delicious apples are self-pollinating and produce large, conical, golden fruit with aromatic white flesh. They are generally healthy trees and prolific producers, if they're grown in the right climate. They perform best in zones 5-9. You're in zone 4, which accounts for the lack of blossoms on your trees. On an off-year the trees may produce, but it isn't likely you'll get bumper crops from your trees. Before you have too much time and effort invested in them, you might want to consider replacing them with cultivars that thrive in your gardening region. Try 'Lodi', 'MacIntosh' or 'Wealthy', instead of 'Golden Delicious'.

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