Cool Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Apple tree bore no fruit last year

Hey all. I moved into my house 2 years ago. There is an apple tree on the property that bore hundreds(if not a thousand) fruit the first year. Last year, however, not one fruit dropped! I would love it to return to its former vigor...what could be the cause of a dormant year? Is there anything I can do at this point to increase the likelihood that I get a few apples? Did I wait too long, since lots of trees around here are in or past their flowering stage? I noticed a few flowers on the tree, but nothing like the trees around here that are absolutely covered in flowers. Thanks for your help!


Senior Member
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 12:15 pm
Location: Miami, FL

Some fruit trees have a habit of 'alternate bearing'. Meaning they will produce a huge crop one year, then little to none the next. If that is the case, you'll have another large crop next year.

Try checking with your local Agricultural extension office.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5474
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Hale can knock off the blossoms and fruit when it is small and it will not produce any fruit that year.

If you trim the limbs of some fruit trees they will not produce that year.

I have an apple tree that I have been trying to get it to make good apples for 18 years. I have read all the information I can find and done all the things that are suggested but nothing has worked. Books say, do not fertilize an apple tree it has surface roots and fertilizer will kill the roots. Books say to mulch the tree with a foot of mulch it will hold the moisture that is what the tree needs. Books say the trees need lots of water. I have done everything the books say and everything I read online and nothing has worked. If my tree makes apples they are always the size of a golf balls and as hard as wood and they never get ripe.

Last summer I decided I would do what I think the tree needs, forget what the experts claim works best. If the tree produces no apples this time I will cut it down. I bought a 50 lb bag of Urea 46/0/0 and a bottle of fruit tree spray. Every Sunday afternoon I sprinkled a pint of Urea on the ground about 5 ft radius around the tree and watered it to dissolve the Urea into the ground. I also sprayed the tree with the fruit tree spray. September I had ripe red apples the size of tennis balls and some larger than base balls. I picked 14 five gallon buckets heaping full of ripe red apples. That is 70 gallons of apples, probably 8 or 9 bushels of apples. I canned apples in mason jars, made juice with my juicer, made pies, and jelly too.

Cool Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Gary, what an inspirational apple story! My father came by and did a huge trim on the tree last year - that must have been the issue! Hopefully it isn't still mad and will produce for me this year!

I am going to try the Urea idea. We had a ton of apples 2 years ago, but they weren't necessarily tasty. Probably tennis ball size and very tough. Growing up around trees my whole life I figured they were probably self sufficient, but gardening has taught me that any plant might need some TLC every once in a while.

Thanks again!

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