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7 messages
10/02/2013 at 09:44
Hi everyone, 2 years ago I planted a 5 year old Braeburn apple tree which is now approximately 6 to 7 feet tall. We had fruit the first year, although not many and as per guidance it was pruned to regain control of shape the following year. Now last year it budded and flowered beautifully then as you will remember we had terrible frost and high winds and it killed all the flowers which meant we lost the chance of getting apples.....no one in our area had any apples at all last year. This year again the apple tree has been pruned , it's now budding and will hopefully flower....the question is should I fleece the tree to protect it from frost as I've read books that say yes and some that say if I do it will damage to flower buds so to leave well alone!!! Very confusing.....would really appreciate your guys advice. Yvonne
10/02/2013 at 10:07

We are in a frost pocket (every month except August over the last 18 years) and we never bother covering our fruit trees. It all depends I suppose on where you live and how deep the frost gets. The worry of damaging the buds is a minor one and down to how carefully one puts on the fleece and takes it off.

Hows that for a non-commital answer?

10/02/2013 at 11:04

Last year the timing was all out and a lot of apple growers suffered-having said that I had loads and couldn't even give them away

As for fleecing-how are the pollinators going to do their job?

My feeling is that this year -if things go to plan with so many trees not carrying a crop last year -that it will be bumper time

10/02/2013 at 13:09

Obviously one only puts a fleece on when frost is forecast and it is taken off during the day when the bees are active.

10/02/2013 at 15:47

I think the problem was more likely to be lack of pollinating insects because of the weather, it happens as well when there is a lot of rain at flowering time. Apple trees are pretty hardy. The flowers will drop off if not pollinated anyway. Is there another apple tree near you that pollinates your Braeburn? You can't grow fruit on a lone apple tree, it needs another of the right pollinating group.

10/02/2013 at 15:50

You live in Wiltshire - don't worry with fleecing - it was the lack of pollinating insects due to the poor weather that caused such abysmal crops last year, not the  effect of the weather itself on the blossom.  

We must cross our fingers and live in hope of a milder and dryer spring 

Have you got a suitable pollinator nearby?

14/02/2013 at 22:54
Sorry ts taken so long for me to reply....yes I have another apple tree next door, and two more in the next garden and lots in the actual village. I was told by a neighbours gardener that it was due to the weather but what your saying makes sense re too cold for the pollinators......I'm hoping for more luck this year. I'm not going to fleece I'm going to let nature do what it does and Will cross my fingers whilst she's doing it should I get fruit I will be a very happy bunny

Yvonne
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