Apple drop on Zestar

Asked June 30, 2016, 11:32 PM EDT

A friend of my planted a Zestar apple three years ago. All three years now, the majority of the young apples have fallen off. What could be causing this?

Ramsey County Minnesota apple trees blossom drop zestar apple

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Apples drop fruit starting with petal fall. This is normal as those fruits that were incompletely fertilized are shed from the tree. The second noticeable fruit drop occurs in June when the tree drops those fruits that are in excess of its ability to nourish to maturity. There are many things that factor in to fruit drop; nutrient availability, climatic conditions, summer pruning and insect infestations. Low soil fertility can also cause premature drop of apples. Soils low in magnesium or high in potassium can contribute to drop. We suggest a soil test to determine if this is an issue. The University of Minnesota Soil Testing laboratory can do this for your friend. Here is their website:

It can take 4-5 years after planting a new tree for it to produce a crop.

Thank you for contacting Extension.