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  1. #1
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    Default Ballerina apple trees

    I planted a bolero one last year. It now has some flowers - should I let it fruit or not ?

  2. #2
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    pigletwillie is offline Ohhh Shiny
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    Indeed do.

    If it sets lots and lots of fruit, do thin it out a bit but generally the "June drop" will help in that respect.
    http://pigletsplots.blogspot.com/
    updated - 21st November "This time I mean it"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigletwillie View Post
    Indeed do.

    If it sets lots and lots of fruit, do thin it out a bit but generally the "June drop" will help in that respect.
    Thanks is that true for all apple trees ? As on another forum I was told to deflower my new cordons.

  4. #4
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    If you want to give your tree the best start in life, remove blossom for the first season (and maybe even the second). The more energy the tree puts into establishing a good root system early on, the better for the tree in the long run. Having said that, it will do no great harm to let a few blossom set fruit, and in the second/third year this is to be encouraged as it will help to reduce vigour which can lead to too much top-growth at the expense of the formation of fruiting spurs. Ballerinas don't tend to produce much in the way of vegetative laterals anyway, so this last point is less important for you.

    Mark

  5. #5
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    Littlemark, you stated -
    "If you want to give your tree the best start in life, remove blossom for the first season (and maybe even the second)."

    Can you tell me, does that apply to all maidem apple trees, such as 'dessert' and 'cookers', ?

  6. #6
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    Yes, all newly planted trees, maidens or otherwise, will do best in the long run if given as much chance to establish a good root system as possible. A good extensive root system will provide a better anchor against wind damage, particularly if the tree will not always be supported with a stake. There is also the obvious advantage of a tree better able to extract nutrients to feed the fruit growth you will want later.

    Apple trees only have a certain amount of energy (food) to use during the growing season, and how you treat the tree will determine where that energy goes. If you allow the tree to fruit every year from day one, that's where most of the tree's energy will go at the expense of root and top growth. Root growth should take priority over fruiting and top-growth, and a handful of bonemeal on planting will help with this.

    We are allowing our cider apple trees to fruit this year, which is their third season. This will help to reduce vigour in the top-growth now that the root system is better established, and also the weight of the fruit will help to bring laterals down towards horizontal, which helps with fruiting spur production. There's a bit more and some pics on our blog.

    Cheers, Mark

  7. #7
    littlemark's Avatar
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    Default Oops!

    I've just realised I've forgotten to add one important point. The above applies mostly to bare-rooted trees. Container grown trees (which I assume your Ballerina is) would also probably benefit from being de-flowered in the first year, but this is much less important since the rootball will have been disturbed much less.

    Mark

  8. #8
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    No my Ballerina was bare rooted and in the ground.

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