Apple tree not blooming

Asked May 12, 2016, 10:49 PM EDT

We planted 2 apple trees at the same time about 6 years ago. They are a fireside and a honey crisp applease. Both came from a grocery store green house. The honey crisp is amazing and produces abundant fruit every year. The fireside blossomed the first spring after planting and has not blossomed since. The tree itself is gorgeous. Beautiful foliage, nice and healthy. But, no blossoms. What can we do to encourage blossoms next year?

Wright County Minnesota home apple production

1 Response

There can be many reason for an apple to fail to bloom.

  • Improper pruning (horizontal branches are the best bloomers, and sometimes a tree needs to be trained to grow properly):http://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2009/05/simple-steps-to-productive-apple-trees.html
  • A late frost, especially after a very warm period in spring can kill off the new flower buds,
  • Excess nitrogen as a fertilizer. The fact that you say this tree is very healthy and beautiful looking may indicate that the tree is sending it's energy into leaf production, rather than fruit production - this is what too much nitrogen can do.
  • Zinc deficiency. You may want to have a soil test done to determine if this tree is getting the proper nutrients: http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/
  • Too much shade. Apple trees need full sun to do their best.
  • Finally, you may want to take some more drastic measures. Root pruning can also help to encourage blooming. Use a spade along the drip line of the tree, the area where the branches end. Push the spade a good 6-8 inches into the ground, and lift it straight out. Repeat around the entire perimeter of the tree. This breaks small sucker roots and keeps energy in the immediate area around tree, giving more resources to the main portion of the tree and therefore to blooming.
I hope this is helpful Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.