Fruit thinning

I bit the bullet and started thinning out the apples and Victoria plums today. Fruit trees sometimes set more fruit than they really have the resources to ripen, leading to smaller individual fruit and exhausted trees, so while the fruits are still small it can be a good idea to thin them out a bit, which also gives a chance to remove ones which look diseased or deformed before the tree has invested much in them. The Vicky plum in particular has just been wildly over-ambitious this year, setting enough fruit to break the tree, so I took almost half of them off. I always leave this task a bit late as it just feels wrong to be taking unripe fruit off, but my experience is that it really does help.

2 thoughts on “Fruit thinning

  1. mortaltree

    I found out lately that the size of an apple is dictated by the cytokinin (cell division) hormone production that happens within the first 30 days after the bloom is pollinated. From there, it’s mostly just elongation of the already made cells that takes place up to ripening. So if you thin the fruit after the 30 day mark the tree has already developed the apples based on the number of fruit it has on it. Perhaps you might want to bite the bullet earlier rather than later and see if you can get larger fruit for the same work?
    I’ll be trying it myself this year.


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