The search for the causes
First of all, you shouldn't panic if it is still a relatively young apple tree with grafting on a half-stem or high-stem. Even with young seedlings that have been pulled from a core, it can take around seven to ten years to harvest your own apples. However, it can also lead to a lack of blossoms in older apple trees without a specific disease being present. With apple varieties such as the Boskoop, so-called alternation can mean that sufficient flowers are only set every two years.
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Emergency measures for poorly flowering trees
If an apple tree blossoms poorly or not at all, it can often be due to insufficient care by the gardener. Then the following factors should be checked:
- the water supply
- the supply of nutrients
- the type of pruning
If the apple tree is on very sandy and therefore permeable soil, it should be sufficiently watered about once every week in autumn and spring. In addition, when fertilizing, you need to pay attention to the composition of the fertilizer, if you are not only fertilizing with biological materials. If too much nitrogen reaches the shallow tree roots, the flowering behavior can be weakened. You should therefore limit the entry of nitrogen into the area around the tree grate and ensure that there is an adequate supply of potassium.
Cut the tree properly
Winter pruning is very important for the vitality of an apple tree. But you should always leave annual branches standing. Since an apple tree only develops buds on two-year-old wood and therefore bears blossoms, excessive pruning can quickly lead to a lack of blossoms. Some varieties, such as the star-shaped reindeer, also form the buds sitting far forward on the branches. So if you shorten the branches too much, you will also remove any future blooms with the cut. Nevertheless, you should prune your apple tree regularly in winter and also in summer. The more shoots of water you remove from the top of the tree crown in summer, the more energy the apple tree can put into the flower buds over winter.
Tips & Tricks
Sometimes all the blossoms from the apple tree fall off even in late night frosts. Like particularly rich harvest years, this is part of the rhythm of nature. However, if there is no long-term apple blossom, another apple variety should be grafted onto the tree.