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4 messages
06/05/2014 at 15:14

Hello all,

My dwarf apple is in its second year in the garden (and about 4 years old overall). 7ft tall or so and has just finished blossoming. I haven't pruned it since it's been in th ground and also didn't pick any apples off it last year - because there were none (it blossomed during the wettest and coldest spring, without a bee in sight, and I think the birds got the couple that made it).

I've given it a good mulch in early spring and it's the picture of happiness right now. I can see loads of tiny burgeoning apples on it. 

At what point ought I cover it with a bird net? which sort of net is best? And when can I take the net off again!

Thanks from a gardener very new to fruit trees!

06/05/2014 at 15:40

I wouldn't net the tree - netting trees is really dangerous for birds - unless you notice that the fruit is being damaged - I think the only birds that would go for apples are blackbirds and I don't think they'd perch in a dwarf fruit tree.

In my experience they usually only go after really ripe apples anyway, so the solution will be to pick them 

 

06/05/2014 at 16:27

I'm no expert, but I've not heard of having to net an apple tree.
All sorts of birds will peck around the tree, it's crawling with insects and the birds eat them, but I don't think they'll trouble your apples. As Dove says the blackbirds love a ripe apple in the autumn.
The tree will shed excess baby apples in the next month or so - the June drop, so don't be too concerned when this happens - unless of course they ALL drop off.
Good luck!

 

06/05/2014 at 17:54

Thank you both - really useful advice

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