The Q&A Archives: Thinning fruit from trees

Question: Should I thin the fruit from the following types of trees and, if so, when? (1) almonds, (2) plums, (3) apples, (4) tangerines, (5) lemons, (6) pummelos, (7) grapefruit, (8) tangelos, and (9) oranges.

Answer: Now is the time to thin the fruit on deciduous fruit trees (apples, peaches, apricots, almonds, plums, etc.). This is done to protect the tree from breaking from the weight of a full load of fruit, to cause the tree to invest in fewer, larger, sweeter fruits, and to prevent alternate bearing (heavy crop one year little or no fruit the next). The earlier this is done after fruit set, the more size response will be expected in fruit remaining on the tree. See for directions on how to thin. Rule of thumb is one fruit every four to six inches.

You do not need to thin fruit from citrus trees; they will drop on their own.

Sounds like you are developing a fabulous edible landscape! Enjoy!

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