The Q&A Archives: How to get my apple tree to produce GOOD fruit

Question: I received an compact apple tree for a wedding gift. Year one produced 3 Fabulous green apples, which I enjoyed very muchy. Year 2 produced 20-30 tiny apples that immeditely got black spots and holes and unedibly fell to the ground. I assume they were from bugs. How do I treat this so it doesnt happen this year.

Please reply, as Id like to go get a few more, but only if this is curable.

Answer: Sometimes trees set more fruit than they can possibly mature so they drop some of it. You can help things along by regularly thinning the fruit when it's still very small (about mid-June). Thin to 1-2 fruit per cluster. The resulting fruit will be larger and more flavorful. If your tree was not able to support both the fruit and itself last year, it's likely that it chose to support itself, at the expense of fruit this year. Black scabby spots on apples is a sign of a common fungal disease called apple scab. It's too late to prevent the problem this year but you should rake and remove the fallen leaves to prevent reinfection. Next spring spray your apple tree with Bordeaux (lime sulfur) beginning just as the leaf buds begin to swell, and again (usually 3 more times) as recommended on the label. These treatments will protect the fruits and leaves from scab. Good luck with your apple tree!

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