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16/07/2014 at 17:37

Hi can anyone suggest any reason as to why a small apple tree (about 4 ft)  that was moved from a pot after 2 years, into the garden planted with a fresh bag of tree and shrub compost last autumn has failed to produce anything at all this year? it is alive and I've now done a scrape (like a graft cut) just above a node and taped it to try to force some hormones into the node so it will sprout but if anyone has any other ideas to try to encourage it I'd be grateful.  It is alive just not showing any outward signs of it? 

17/07/2014 at 11:13

Hi Sal

I dont know if you are a bit impatient with the tree, it may be just getting used to its new enviroment and may start producing flowers next year

To encourage flowering spurs you can prune branches back by half, but you say your tree is only about 4ft

There is also another tecnique of bending and training the branches downwards which can induce the tree to produce flowering spurs

This may help you

Flowering Habits of Apples and Pears Recognizing where the flowers and fruit develop on the different types of tree fruits is important. Their location as well as the fruit species will determine how the different species are pruned and trained.  

Tree fruit have two types of buds, terminal and lateral buds. Apples and pears flower and fruit primarily on terminal buds. A terminal, sometimes called the apical bud, is one located at the tip of a shoot. A lateral bud develops along the developing shoot at the base of the leaf blade.

The flower/fruit buds in apples and pears can be terminal on long shoots (greater than 4 inches) or more commonly on short shoots called spurs. A spur is a short shoot (4 inches or less) that only grows a very small amount each year. Spurs usually take 2 years to develop; that is, in the first year the bud is formed as either a lateral or terminal bud. If the bud is terminal, it may flower the next year or it may not. Lateral buds formed the first year may produce a flower, but the fruit that develops is small and of poor quality. More often, the lateral bud may thicken and grow only a small amount and develop as a spur, which may flower in the subsequent years.

The spur and terminal flower buds can have both vegetative and flower components. The buds usually produce about five to eight flowers and a similar number of leaves. Occasionally, a new vegetative shoot will develop after the flowers set fruit.

Pruning and training as described below will affect the amount and type of buds formed by apples and pears. Trees that are very vigorous, whether due to pruning or overfertilization, form fewer flowers.

17/07/2014 at 11:26

Hi Sal Hall 

When you say that it's not produced anything and that you're trying to encourage it to sprout, do you mean that it's not even produced any leaves this year? 

17/07/2014 at 11:52

Hi Sal

I beg your pardon if I have picked that up wrong If I have I will leave it up to the above

17/07/2014 at 12:24

Sorry perhaps I didn't make it clear but the tree has produced no leaves this year. The small buds that would normally turn into small branches are alive but have not swelled like they should and nothing is happening with the tree, it appears completely dormant? I wonder if its shock from being moved and having two of its four limbs pruned? This had to be done because both limbs were heavy ended and rubbing eachother, they were reduced by a third and staked for support. Other than this the tree has had nothing done to it, its not been over or under watered and is in a reasonably sheltered spot.  Does anyone know if trees do react like this and if its likely to recover next year? Many thanks

17/07/2014 at 12:54
Sounds like shock to me, you will just have to wait and see if it gets better, if its still green then it has a chance, but it sounds like it needs leaving alone for a while now
I think i remember seeing a case like this on tv, of course i cant quite remember what happened, but i think the tree was ok
17/07/2014 at 16:05

Yes I think you're right it's a case of waiting and see if it heals itself, will look at it again in spring now see if there's any signs of life, thanks for your help everyone anyway



17/07/2014 at 16:13

All you can do is wait and see - to be honest I fear the worst but hope that I'm wrong. 

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