The Q&A Archives: apple trees

Question: We have had very little rain so far this year (season). Only one tree has started to blossom - do you think because of the lack of moisture and moderate winter season slows down the normal cycle?
I believe we have had only a couple of inches vs last year we probably had 12 inches or more and for our entire season we had over 30 inches. When you have excessive rain fall and later meager is this late blossoming normal?
Simcerly, Walter Smith

Answer: Water can certainly affect flowering, but mild temperatures can also contribute to fewer blooms than normal. Some trees get into an alternate bearing cycle where every other year it puts out a bumper crops of flowers and the next year flowering is very sparse. As long as your tree looks otherwise healthy, I wouldn't be too concerned about the poor flowering this year. Trees have a way of adjusting to the curves nature throws and while we don't always understand what contributes to good and poor performance, the trees do. Next winter, if rainfall is low, make an effort to water your trees deeply every few weeks. I think you'll see a real difference in their performance the following spring.

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