Blueberries - Excessive fruit buds, lack or no leaves
We have Bluecrop and Duke varieties and this year I see that, overall, most plants have too much fruit (small) and lack of leaves. I can see already fruit will drop (harvest starts in 3 weeks). There many small laterals from last year with only fruit without leaves (in particular bluecrop).
I wonder what possible conditions could have cause this problem (maybe last year) and what should I do?
The first two pictures do show delayed growth relative to stage of fruit growth, but there is no evidence of too much fruit on this one cane. In the second picture, too many "laterals" were left on this one particular cane at pruning time last winter -- this would lead to delayed shoot growth. In the third picture, I see no evidence of a problem in the photo. I do not see any evidence of disease or any other major issues in the pictures. There may however be pruning or fertility issues that cannot be seen in pictures.
I do not know where you are located, but highly suggest you contact your local county extension agent for commercial or small farm and get some advice specific for your farm, particularly to check on fertilizer management and pruning.
Thank you so much for your opinion. Would you remove excessive fruit now before harvest and where there is too much lateral growth with fruit without leaves (only see fruit, no leaves in those smalls lateral). Also what do you think about summer prunning for Bluecrop variety - it has a lot of growth ( tall shoots and a number of laterals). Those tall shoots can't stand fruit load following year and bend on the ground.
Dr. Strik is currently unavailable. As per her suggestion, please contact your county’s Extension Service agent for commercial growers or small farms. A one-on-one contact such as that is important to obtain “some advice specific for your farm, particularly to check on fertilizer management and pruning.”
An interactive list of the county offices for the Oregon State University Extension Service is here: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/find-us.