|Every year my apple trees have a lot of apples, but they all fall off before they get ripe, also they have brown spots on them. What should I do this fall to prevent the apples from falling off next year.
|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 summer, it's likely that it chose to support itself, at the expense of fruit this year. Brown scabby spots on apples is a sign of a common fungal disease called apple scab. Its 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!|