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On 1st July, 2 of my apple trees: a Cox (orange pippin) and a braeburn, were full of apples for the first time ever (Cox is about 4-5 years old and Braeburn is only 2-3). Yesterday, each of them had only 1 apple left after all the other dropped on the ground. I also have 2 dwarf spurs and a russet (Egremont) which have still about the same quantity of fruit as 2 weeks ago. I am wondering whether anyone else has had the same problem, or knows if it's weather related (I'm in Lancs). There doesn't seem to be any pest, though the Cox' leaves are now getting ugly browny edges... Thanks for any advice.
It is called 'June Drop', though it can obviously happen a bit later too. I occurs when the tree drops the unfertilized, mis-shapen, diseased apples.
Cox is one of the most challenging apples to grow well. Commercial growers spray and spray and spray again. Maybe not the best choice for the amateur. The best apples to grow are not usually the ones you can find with ease in the supermarket.
Last year was fantastic for apples; not so this year.
Welshonion, that is a very interesting remark about when good apple crops have happened, we had dreadful crops last year, and not just us but many people around here - East Midlands. This year is better so far, but although there were wonderful amounts of stunning apple blossom, there were no pollinators to speak of, it being very cold at the time. There must have been a few however, as there are apples on the eaters, but very few on the crab, very unusual that. We grow James Grieve and Katy, James is very tolerant of alot of conditions, Katy seems more fussy - but both do have crops on so far - not huge but definitely there.
Thanks for the useful information/advice. It's a bit reassuring (though still frustrating...) About the Cox' choice, it seems to be the most capricious fruit tree in my garden, and since I'm following the "organic" path, i.e. trust Nature's power, I'm only hoping on natural predators/deterrents to get rid of pests. After I planted Coxy, I sought advice around me (should have done it before!) and they recommended James Grieve (of which I got 2 young specimens last Fall = crop will be for next year at earliest) and also discovery and bramleys.. love this latter, but don't have room (for now... maybe if I get an allotment!)
Interesting how the crop varies from area to area. Here in West Wales you couldn't give apples and pears away everybody had so many! This year, hopeless.
James Grieve can slip into biennial fruiting, as can Bramley.