Why aren't my columnar apples blooming?

Asked July 7, 2018, 12:40 PM EDT

I bought two varieties and planted them in the sunniest part of a shade plagued yard. One had a few blooms most years, and grew LOTS of short branches. The other no blooms in 8 years. I cut back most of the branches on the one this year and for the first time the other produced a few blooms near the top, but the former branchy one none! And the branchy one has sent out lots more branches. I've had 1 Apple in all this time!

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

Apple tree problems can be numerous, so I'll offer some possibilities and resources for your further research.
First, are they blooming but not setting fruit? Do you have the correct cross-pollination? Second, are you pruning off the fruiting wood, or "fruit spurs"? Third, how has the weather been during bloom time in recent years?
This publication from PennState Extension, "why is there no fruit on my tree?" gives a good summary of the concerns. https://extension.psu.edu/home-orchards-why-is-there-no-fruit-on-my-tree
This online format (Ask an Expert) isn't the easiest way to troubleshoot complicated issues. I suggest you contact your County Master Gardener Volunteers directly. Email would allow you to send photos easily, though phone might be the easiest way to approach all the questions that need to be answered. https://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/metro/have-gardening-question
(Clackamas County Master Gardener Hotline, Hours: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday Phone: 503-655-8631 Email: Clackamas County Master Gardeners Address: 200 Warner-Milne Rd. Oregon City, OR 97045)