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Jess is in the Garden

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!

Dovefromabove

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 

 

Pete8

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!

 

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