Every year, regardless of whether we spray them with dormant spray or not, the majority of our apples fall off the tree not long before they ripen. We have several different types. The only thing I can think of that we do different than the average person is we water them heavily once a week. We've all seen many wild apple trees that don't have a thing done to them yet they do not drop their apples before they ripen. What am I doing wrong here?
Marion County Oregon
If you can contact me and let me know what cultivar of apple you are growing that would help determine what is going on. Some apple cultivars tend to drop their fruit as soon as they are ripe and so you have to watch them carefully and pick fruit that are ripe before this happens.The cultivar 'Shay' drops it's fruit in this way, so needs to be picked 3-4 times per week as fruit ripen. However, it's also possible for apples to develop to that point and then fall prematurely if they are damaged in some way. For example, fruit which have codling moth larvae feeding in them will prematurely ripen and might fall. It would be apparent on inspecting the apple that the larva was present. If you can contact me directly at my email below we can discuss these potential causes for what you are seeing.
This happens every year. The only thing I can think of that we are doing different than everyone else is we heavily irrigate our property once a week and I don't think most orchard is do that. But because there is long and berries in that area we can't skip watering them. We use a big irrigation system comparatively.
I contacted the tree fruit Extension agent on your behalf on this inquiry as it's quite unusual. If all the cultivars are doing this it implies an environmental issue. I have not heard back yet, but can you please contact me at the email address and we can further discuss this. Thanks!