Apple Tree not Producing Fruit

Asked May 28, 2013, 7:06 PM EDT

I have an apple tree that is about 10 years old and it has only produced about one green apple. The tree is about 12 - 15 ft tall and appears healthy. What's missing and what should I do to help this tree produce fruit? (one picture uploaded)

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Apple trees require a nearby apple tree of a different variety in order to cross pollinate and produce fruit. You should consider planting another variety of apple nearby. Some apple trees will pollinate other trees readily, while some will not cross pollinate with others, so it is important to know which variety you have. If you do not know, you may want to consider purchasing a 'yellow delicious' since it will pollinate most other varieties.
Also, you should prune your apple tree in order to open it up and get more sunlight on the fruit producing scaffolds. Select four or five branches that are growing out in different directions, preferably at a slightly upward angle, and that do not interfere with one another. These will be your main scaffolds. Then remove all branches that are growing straight up and any branches that are rubbing against your main scaffolds or that will grow into the main scaffolds.
You could do some light pruning now and wait until next February or March to finish the job. At that time, do not be afraid to cut.
You may want to read the following publication from one of our sister universities.