Small apples

Should I Let My Small Apple Tree Grow Tiny Apples? (Why or Why Not?)

If your apple tree isn’t producing fruits that are big and juicy like the apples from the grocery store, don’t fret!

There are many reasons why your apple tree might not be growing giant fruits, but today we will go over what might be causing this and how we can fix it.

Why Is My Apple Tree Producing Small Fruit?

One thing to keep in mind about growing any kind of fruit tree is that the tree only has so much energy to disperse for a growing season.

Many factors can determine how much energy a tree has, including nutrients available to the tree, shade and sunlight, poor pollination, and lack of pruning.

Make sure that your tree has healthy soil full of nutrients by administering a steady-release fertilizer like manure or homemade compost.

Quick-release fertilizers do not benefit the tree as well and will not provide enough for the season’s growth. The best time to add compost or manure is around fall or spring at the beginning of the growing season, but it may be added any time of the year.

Placement of Your Apple Tree is Important

The placement of the tree may also contribute to insufficient fruiting. Lack of too much sunlight can deprive your tree of energy and not enough shade can cause your tree to dry up and wither from heat exposure.

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It is important to plant your trees in a place where they can receive both a fair amount of sunshine and shade. Pests can also be a risk to your tree, so be sure to plant companion plants that can deter those destructive insects and prevent them from laying hungry larvae in the leaves.

Having enough soil area for the roots of your tree to grow is also necessary for growing your tree big and strong.

How Important is Pollination for My Apple Trees?

Pollination is very important in ensuring that you get a bountiful harvest. Not all insects are pests and we need to invite pollinators like Bees to the tree.

Bad weather can prevent our pollinators from reaching our plants, so sometimes we have t take the job into our own hands.

Hopefully, you have planted a couple of apple trees, as a single tree may not get the cross-pollination necessary for a fruiting season. Two trees ensure that the mating process is complete and you may hand pollinate your trees.

Take a branch from each tree and brush it against the opposing tree, as this does the same jobs that our pollinator friends perform.

Biennial Bearing Apple Trees One Bear Fruit Every Other Year

Another mysterious reason you might not see a fruiting season is that some trees go through “biennial bearing”. This means that while a tree may fruit for one season, it may skip the next season because it exhausted itself the prior season.

This is not uncommon and results usually when the tree has a large bearing of fruit ( commonly due to the lack of thinning the fruit in the beginning of the growing season ).

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If your tree looks as if it is going to have a big, bountiful harvest, be sure to thin out many of the blossoms by picking them before the start growing.

Thinning and Pruning an Apple Tree Increases Health and Productivity

Thinning the fruit blossoms helps the tree preserve energy. This allows the energy to be saved and redirected to the remaining fruits, meaning that the remaining fruits will now grow bigger and juicier while also not exhausting the tree for next season.

Thinning is also great for the trees overall health, as larger loads of fruits often break branches. It is also a good way to prevent the spread disease such as “brown rot” and pests. 

It may look like great news to have many fruits at the beginning of the season, but it is better to remove most of them to ensure you do not over-crop the tree. 

Now that we know thinning is a great way to increase the size of your fruit, let us take a look at “pruning”.

Cutting some smaller, inept branches can stimulate and invigorate a tree that is struggling to bear fruit. This redirects the energy to parts of the tree that need it to for fruit production and to grow more strong branches in it’s place.

You can prune a tree incorrectly if you cut down important healthy branches instead of the weaker branches that the tree waste energy on. The goal is to encourage the tree to grow out and branch out to increase air flow and light for all parts of the plant.

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So do not feel bad cutting down branches with a few blossoms, for this means that your fruit will have more energy to grow big!

What if I Want a Smaller Tree And Mini-fruits? 

As mentioned above, soil space is an important factor in growing a large fruit bearing trees. If you limit the space that you tree has to grow yet still fulfill the needs of pollination, soil fertility, and pruning, you may still be able to grow a single large fruit.

The art of growing Bonzai plants is an ancient practice that involves growing normal fruit plants in miniature containers and forcing them to grow small. Bonzai plants are still capable of producing normal, full-size fruits when given the correct care.

This can be a more delicate project than when working with a full size tree because you are limiting and stressing the plant as it grows.

As the Bonzai tree grows, you must “train” it to grow upward with a wire and shape it into a form that may be durable enough to even hold the fruit it may produce.

When done properly, the Bonzai tree is an pleasing aesthetic and may not produce as much crop but may be grown to produce a single to a couple of large fruits.

Overall, there are many ways to ensure that your apple tree can produce heftier, juicier fruit crops this season. The key is to pay attention to your plants needs. If the leaves are yellowing; give your tree some much needed nutrients and water.

If your tree looks too full of blossoms and buds, remove a few to thin and ensure you don’t exhaust your poor tree. If you need more details on how, check out the links attached below.