Apple Trees

Asked May 4, 2016, 1:36 PM EDT

I live near Hugo and have had Honey Crisp apple trees for the last 6 years. The problem is that both of those trees had blossoms on them when they were planted but have not had blossoms since. In addition, I purchased another tree from a different supplier last year which also had blossoms. It too did not produce blossoms this year. All 3 trees are very healthy but are baring no fruit. Two of the trees are in partial shade but the third one is in full sun. I have clay soil and even honey bee hives just waiting for the trees to bloom. My other fruit trees (plum, cherry, and crab apple) all have blossoms. What can be done with these apple trees?

Anoka County Minnesota

4 Responses

There can be any number of reason that these plants aren't blooming.

Apple trees (especially Honeycrips) can take up to 8 years to bloom, and produce apples. Transplant shock often sets a tree back a few years, as well.

Over fertilization may be a reason. If these trees are in, or next to a lawn they will take up lawn fertilizer, and if you are fertilizing the trees as well, they may be getting too much nitrogen.

Apple trees really prefer full sun, and will bloom sparsely, if at all in shade.

A late frost cana kill newly forming flower buds.

Here is some information from some of our universities that discuss this problem:

Thank you for your note.

Do I need to transplant my trees into full sun? They are now about 10' tall and it would be difficult. I've called people in the past (include apple orchards) on this issue and they said the partial shade would not be an issue.

The two trees in question are near a creek (on a hill) and away from my fertilized lawn. It anything, they would receive too little fertilizer.

No, I wouldn't transplant them. It would be expensive and very stressful for the trees.

Perhaps they should be fertilized? Look for a formulation that encourages flowers, not leaves.

Have you pruned these trees? If done incorrectly or at the wrong time of year you may be cutting off the flower buds.
And, they may simply be too young yet.

Thanks again for your response.

I use Jobe's tree spikes for fruit trees. I did not put those in the ground yet this year but I will do so. It also sounds like I just may need to stay patient and wait for them to flower when they are ready.

Have a good day.