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Not Allowing Fruit To Grow In 2nd year

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:58 am
by Greyt.Chase
I can't remember where I read this, but I swear I read that you shouldn't allow your 2nd year trees to get past the flowering stage (IE don't let the fruit grow). Is this true? Does it matter? The reasoning I read/heard was to make the tree concentrate on growing it's limbs and roots.

In all honesty, these are probably 3 or 4 year old trees. I got them last year and planted them, but they were a few feet tall. Does it matter in this instance? Should I just leave the trees be and see if they grow any fruit? Should I pick thin the fruit to nothing before they grow much?

Any insight would be appreciated.

Re: Not Allowing Fruit To Grow In 2nd year

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:35 am
by OrangePippin-Richard
A lot depends on the rootstock, and the main issue is with dwarf trees (Bud 9, G.11 etc). These trees will likely stop growing in their 2nd year if you let them fruit, because (to over simplify) they can either grow, or they can fruit, but they can't do both. So if they stop growing in the second year they are perhaps never going to reach their full size and hence full cropping potential.

Incidentally it follows from the above that planting a 2-year or 3-year old dwarf tree is perhaps best avoided if outright production is your goal.

With semi-vigorous or vigorous rootstocks it is less of an issue. Firstly, they are not as precocious so you probably won't get much blossom in year 2 anyway, and secondly they will carry on growing for many years, with progressively more fruit each year - the grow / fruit switch is not on/off the way it is with dwarfs.

Re: Not Allowing Fruit To Grow In 2nd year

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:48 am
by Greyt.Chase
Ok, thanks for the clarification. They are all on MM111, so i'm guessing that I can leave them be and see if I get any fruit. I assume they are all about 3 years old now because they were not tiny when the shipment arrived last year. That being said, i'm pretty new to it all and am learning on the fly so they could all be older or younger, i'm not exactly sure.

Thanks for the quick reply!