The Q&A Archives: Fruit trees

Question: I bought two apple trees and two cherry trees for our new house. now apple trees are starting to bloom. how can I take care of them for the first year? should i keep those flowers for fruits or pick up the flowers and wait for next year more productive. thanks.


Answer: If your trees are very young, they won't set fruit. I'd just leave the flowers on the tree to enjoy. If the tree is mature enough, you may get a few apples. If it isn't ready to produce fruit, the flowers and tiny fruit will drop all on their own. Typically apple trees develop more flowers (potential fruit) than they can carry to maturity. Even though little apples begin to form, they often drop off in June. If your tree holds the fruit past June, you can thin the fruit clusters. Leave the fruit in the center of the cluster (usually the largest) and twist off the rest. This will allow the tree to direct more of its energy into developing fewer but larger fruit. You can do this for the next 2-3 years. By then the trees should be mature enough to produce a bountiful crop. There's not much you need to do for the first few years; water them deeply once or twice a week (depending upon weather) and just let them become established in the ground. By their third winter in your landscape you will want to begin pruning for size and shape.

Best wishes with your new trees!

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