Why apricot does not bear fruit: the main causes and methods of dealing with the problem
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In the practice of growing apricots, every now and then there are cases when a seemingly healthy tree refuses to bear fruit. It does not have any signs of disease, it even grows well and pleases with spring flowering, but year after year it leaves gardeners without a crop. Why apricot behaves so illogically, only the most experienced lovers of stone fruit crops know.
Why apricot does not bear fruit
In fact, there may be enough reasons not to start fruiting in an apricot tree:
- One of the main reasons for the lack of a crop can be the wrong choice of plant location. If spring groundwater stagnates on your site or water stands for a long time during the summer lingering rains, the apricot will be uncomfortable on it.
- In addition, the composition of the soil in the garden will also affect fruiting. If it is heavy loamy, it will be difficult to wait for the harvest. Apricot needs airy loamy substrates. The soil should be slightly alkaline, humus, with an obligatory admixture of nitrogen, fluorine and potassium.
- Another reason for the lack of fruit is often insufficient lighting. The apricot tree came to our gardens from brightly sunlit areas and quiet valleys, therefore it requires long daylight hours and protection from cold winds.
In nature, apricot chooses quiet and light slopes, protected from northern winds
But if the place for the apricot tree is chosen correctly, but there is still no harvest, other reasons should be considered:
- improper watering - apricot can shed ovaries not only from too wet, but also from overdried soil;
- untimely pruning - if pruning is too early or late, or if it is completely absent, fruit branches may fall off;
- lack of fertilizing - in each period of growth, it is necessary not to forget to apply organic and mineral fertilizers;
- frosts - trees survive cold down to –28 ° С, however, the buds, from which flowers could bloom, suffer even at –1 ° С;
- infection with diseases and damage by pests - with an inattentive attitude to the health of the tree, it may not have enough strength to fight diseases;
- prolonged spring and summer rains - at this time, the most weakened apricots suffer, which did not survive the winter well and did not receive preventive treatment.
It should not be forgotten that it is necessary to determine the causes of infertility taking into account the age of the plant. They directly depend on the stage of development of the apricot, since each of them may have different needs.
The apricot tree of the first years of life may refuse to bear fruit:
- due to a weak root system;
- due to lack of nutrition.
A young apricot tree may not have enough nutrition
The roots of young trees can be damaged even during planting, when some inexperienced gardeners mix fertilizers poorly, do not place a thin layer of ordinary soil between them and the root system. In this case, the delicate roots can burn themselves. It will take time to replace them with new ones.
Lack of top dressing is dangerous, since it is organic matter that young trees need to prepare for full fruiting. Organic fertilizers can be:
- diluted fermented manure;
If an apricot tree older than 5 years ceases to bear fruit, most likely it does not have enough mineral fertilizers. The highest yield peak of this crop occurs at the age of 5–7 years, then the number of fruits should gradually decrease. If your apricot tree has already yielded berries, but the peak did not occur at the time allotted by nature, then it was not supplemented with phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.
The main cause of adult tree problems is mineral starvation.
When apricots bloomed in the garden of the author of these lines a few years ago, many buzzing insects immediately appeared around them. This picture was at first touching and inspiring hope. But when the flowering ended, not a single fruit appeared on the branches. A closer study of the branches, as well as special literature, explained the problem - scurrying insects carry not only pollen, they also carry harmful spores of fungi. These pathogens penetrate the stigma of the flower pistil, then end up in the ovary. After that, all our tiny fruits fell off.
If the old tree has stopped yielding, then, most likely, it needs:
- anti-aging pruning;
- frost protection.
Older trees need rejuvenating pruning
Special pruning is needed in order for new shoots to appear, which will be able to give ovaries next year. On old branches, there may be few or no such buds.
Another problem of the old tree can be the lack of preparation for the winter, in particular, the whitewashing of the trunk. The fact is that the trunk cracks more with age, the cracks that appear create a gate for the penetration of infections and pests.
Why apricot blooms but does not bear fruit
Often, an apricot tree blooms in a violent color in spring, bypasses all dangers in the form of night frosts, forms a mass of ovaries and completely crumbles. As a result, only young leaves remain on the tree. If apricot flowers fly around without having time to form ovaries, this may be due to a lack of pollination.
If the apricot lacks nutrients, it can completely shed the ovaries.
But if the ovaries appeared and then crumbled, most often in this way the plant sends a signal to the disappointed gardener that it is sorely lacking nutrients for further development.
And since it is more important for him to survive than to harvest this year, the tree dumps this ballast. The same situation occurs in the case of insufficient watering.
How to make an apricot bear fruit
The most decisive part of gardeners is solving the problem with an ax.
It should be noted that with an ax you can not only cut down a tree at the root. The older generation of gardeners use this tool more cunningly. Several different acquaintances from the Voronezh region said that with an ax you can reduce the spread of the roots, that is, you can simply chop them down. But you need to do this in a square. One side every year. And one more popular omen - if an apricot tree is struck with its butt on the trunk and threats are voiced, it will surely be frightened and will give an excellent harvest next year.
Most of the lovers of this fruit are looking for opportunities to give a fruit tree a second life. And they usually succeed in finding ways to do this.
You shouldn't put an end to a tree that does not produce fruit, as there are many ways to resume fruiting.
Of course, for a good harvest, stable pollination of flowers is needed, since most of the apricots are self-fertile. They need pollinators, so it's best to have at least 2 different types of trees in your garden. Sometimes, to save space, apricot lovers plant 2 copies in one planting hole at once, which will grow side by side. This technique allows the branches of their crowns to intertwine and pollinate even from a weak wind.
You can also graft cuttings from different varieties on one tree or lure pollinating insects such as bees to the site.
For pollination at the stage of active flowering, bees are required
Top dressing and watering
The fall of the ovary that has already appeared can mostly occur from a lack of mineral nutrition. To prevent it, you need to remember to constantly moisturize and feed the plant throughout the season. These processes are most conveniently combined with each other:
- Water the apricot for the first time in the spring before flowering. At the same time, fertilizing with fertilizers containing nitrogen is applied.
- The second time, fertilizing with nitrogen along with watering should be done exactly half a month after the flowering ends.
- The third watering, combined with top dressing, must be carried out a month after the ovaries appear, when the fruits begin to pour. From this point on, you will need top dressing containing more phosphorus with potassium.
- The fourth watering with simultaneous feeding is important to do after the harvest is harvested, and flower buds are already forming on the shoots for the next year. This dressing should contain only phosphorus-potassium fertilizers.
It is important to keep in mind that any nitrogen-containing compounds in the second half of summer will damage the apricot.
Professor Kolomiets method
The method of Doctor of Science Kolomiets is based on increased tree feeding. Back in the forties of the last century, with the help of dressings, he was able to make even one-year-olds bear fruit (in the second spring after vaccinations). At the same time, the trees subsequently increased their yield annually. The order of top dressing is as follows:
- In mid-April: 1–1.5 handfuls (for one-year-olds) or 1.5–2 (for two-year-olds) of azofoski (or nitrophoska) should be evenly scattered in the trunk circle (70–80 cm in diameter) and covered with a rake.
- Mid-May: the same fertilizer in the same doses.
- At the end of May: the same fertilizer in the same doses.
Top dressing with Azophos stimulates apricot trees to bear fruit
Exactly the same method can give an incentive to increase the productivity of mature trees that have already entered fruiting. In this case, the indicated dose should be increased to 5 handfuls per trunk circle.
If the inflorescences crumble after night frosts, it is no longer possible to help the harvest of the current year. However, it is worth taking care of fruiting for the next year.
It is known that the best harvest of fruits is obtained on the growth of the last year. Therefore, no later than the first ten days of June, young branches should be cut in half. If the shoot is weak, it can be cut by a third or even a quarter.
When pruning in summer, it is recommended to decisively shorten the branches, if not by half, then at least by a third.
After pruning from the axillary buds of the tops, several shoots of the second growth wave will appear at once. Young apricots tend to produce more powerful growth. Older trees will have slightly smaller and shorter shoots. But in any case, future flower buds will be laid on such growths.
These shoots will be covered with flowers next spring. And this will happen 8-12 days later than the appearance of buds on old branches. This technique helps to delay flowering and increase the chances that the frost will pass. When the spring night frosts destroy the newly blossoming buds on the neighboring branches, the young shoots will slowly bloom, set fruit and give an excellent harvest.
Video: pruning an apricot
A popular method among gardeners is the hauling. Its essence lies in the fact that tissues will not be able to fully conduct nutrition and the tree will start the reproduction mechanism.
It is better to carry out such an experiment by dragging a branch, which in case of failure will not be a pity to remove.
The operation is carried out no later than May. Sequencing:
- Select the largest skeletal branches at the very base.
- Pull them over with drat or wire wrapped over the laid burlap.
- Remove such a loop after 2 months.
The banner of the tree is carried out with a wire over the burlap.
This operation is simple and safe. The most important condition for its success is to remove the constrictions in time. Otherwise, the coils can grow tightly into the bark and form a wound.
Many fans of experiments from different regions, without saying a word, confirm that the next year the tree will begin to bear fruit generously.
To carry out ringing, in late spring you need to select non-fruiting skeletal branches, then:
- Remove a strip of bark up to 2 cm wide from the base of the branch.
- Turn it upside down and fix it in place of the cut.
- Wrap the cutout with foil and be sure to remove it after 2 months.
When ringing a branch, it will be important to carefully cut a narrow strip of bark.
During this time, the bark will grow to the trunk, and the supply of nutrients along the branch will be slightly suspended - this stimulates the laying of new flower buds.
Remember that cutting off a ring more than 2 cm wide is dangerous - the branch will become depleted and gradually dry out.
It is important not to ring all large branches at once - this will be too much stress for the plant. From a lack of nutrition, the apricot can die completely.
Also, the effect of this method does not come as quickly as from constriction. The harvest after ringing will appear no earlier than 2 years later.
The neighbors who made the ringing last summer were already looking forward to harvesting compotes this year. Imagine their disappointment when fruiting practically did not come. However, this is not a reason to be upset, you need to wait another year. In addition, it has been observed that when using ringing, the number of fruits on a branch will increase with age.
Prevention of diseases and pests
Often, in the absence of a crop of apricots, their diseases or settled pests are to blame. Two percent Bordeaux liquid helps with such troubles. Preventive spraying with this drug is best done in late autumn and early spring, when the buds are still forming. Such treatment not only protects apricot trees from the ubiquitous pests, but also increases their resistance to possible drops in temperatures.
The negative experience of the loss of apricot fruits of the past years made us think about protecting the future harvest. Now, every autumn (in October), chemical treatments are carried out in the garden. But the exact time of these procedures is determined by each gardener individually, based on weather conditions and climate. Our main criterion is that the tree should not fly around completely. At the same time, you can not be afraid to miscalculate with the weather - this drug is not washed off by rain and is not afraid of cold weather. For the third year already, the usual spraying with a 2% Bordeaux liquid has been giving good results.
To prepare Bordeaux mixture yourself, you need to combine slaked lime with copper sulfate. All garden centers have packages with copper sulfate in the required proportions. Packages:
- weighing 300 g is used to prepare a 3% solution of Bordeaux liquid;
- weighing 100 g - for 1% concentration.
Copper sulfate is used to prepare Bordeaux liquid
In advanced cases, fungicides can be called for help:
They must be used strictly after studying the instructions on the package, no later than 3 days before flowering. The second treatment will be required after flowering, and the third, control, no earlier than half a month after the second.
Photo gallery: fungicides to fight apricot diseases
Video: how to properly prepare Bordeaux liquid
Treatment of apricot with a growth enhancer
As early as the first half of the last century, researchers F. Went and G. Erksleben discovered growth hormones in plants. They were called auxins (from the Greek - to increase).
Charles Darwin also played a noticeable role in the discovery: he discovered in plants a substance that is acted upon by light and which transfers its effect to the lower part of the plant.
Auxins, according to the chemist's handbook, became the prototype of plant hormones.
Since almost the entire territory of Russia can be exposed to late spring frosts, flowering trees can be protected by postponing the start of flowering. Preventive treatment of wood with auxin solution reliably copes with this task.
Now preparations based on auxins are actively sold in specialized stores and garden centers. Some of the most effective representatives of growth enhancers are Emistim or Charkor.
A bioregulator with a wide spectrum of action Emistim is sold as metabolic products of fungi from plant roots. Growth substances are phytohormones of auxin and gibberellin nature. The drug is used when growing fruit and berry crops. This product increases plant resistance to stressful conditions and increases fruit yield.
Emistim increases the resistance of trees to adverse conditions
Rooting stimulator Charkor is a mixture of natural substances and a complex of 2,6-dimethylpyridine-1-oxide with α-phenylacetic acid.
Charkor increases the growth rate of tree roots
The stimulant increases the density of the primary roots and the rate of their growth, as well as the maturation of growth.
Charkor, like Emistim, belongs to the class of non-toxic drugs.
Apricot processing process
Spraying branches and trunks with any growth regulator is carried out 3 times:
- Together with spring preventive treatments.
- With the beginning of budding.
- After flowering, as a spray to accelerate photosynthesis and improve the appearance of the fruit.
To spray an adult apricot tree, dilute a solution of 1 ml of Emistim in 10 liters of water.
To strengthen the root system, Emistim or Charkor solutions are used at least 2 times per season:
- In the spring, when the trees are blooming.
- During the appearance of flower buds.
For spraying, a solution is prepared: 2 ml of the drug is diluted in 20 liters of water. This amount is poured under one fruit tree.
Auxins are also used to reduce pre-harvest shedding of fruits. Spraying apricots at the beginning of crop maturation significantly reduces the amount of carrion.
The carrion is poorly stored, has an unmarketable appearance, sometimes for this reason most of the crop is lost.
Pre-harvest spraying will slightly slow down the fruit pouring. However, such a crop will be stored much longer and will be able to resist diseases.
Video: why apricot does not bear fruit
In order for an apricot to delight us with its harvest, you need to monitor this plant from the first year of its planting: starting with the correct choice of the seedling's place of residence, ending with constant care. If the tree regularly receives watering, feeding and protection from adverse environmental conditions, it will surely respond to the care of an excellent harvest.
- Author: Lyudmila Gerasimova. (Gardener, creator of the interregional online association of plant lovers at home)
Journalist, I am fond of growing flowers and other home and garden plants.
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Why the apricot tree does not bloom and bear fruit
Apricot, like any fruit crop, does not begin to yield immediately. To do this, after planting the seedling, at least 3-5 years must pass. Moreover, the time of the beginning of flowering and the formation of the ovary depends on the variety. Therefore, it is important for the gardener to know in which year the apricot of a particular variety bears fruit. The tree may be too young to form fruit. The seller usually tells how many years should pass.
However, if the grown apricot does not bear fruit, then there is a good reason for that. Let's consider the most common reasons why a tree does not bloom. After all, knowing the root cause will allow you to understand how to make an apricot bear fruit.
Soil and tree location
Very often apricot fruiting does not occur due to the fact that the tree is located in the wrong place. This culture prefers areas of the garden that are sheltered from the wind. In this case, the place must be uniformly illuminated and warmed up by the sun. The best solution would be to plant a seedling on a hill. Here he is not afraid of the cold air.
However, it so happens that the tree grows in the right place, but does not bear fruit. In this case, the problem must be looked for in the soil. Light loamy soils or loams with neutral acidity are suitable for these trees. But on heavy loams and clay, as well as on soils with high acidity, fruits should not be expected.
Doesn't fruit appear on the apricot? Perhaps the tree is not properly looked after. Care for seedlings should be complete, especially after planting. Indeed, it is during this period that the plant is most susceptible to the influence of negative environmental factors (for example, early cold snap, strong wind, etc.). However, even mature trees do not bloom if they are not properly cared for.
Apricot flowering occurs if the following agrotechnical procedures are followed:
- timely watering and in full. This crop is very sensitive to excessive moisture, so the irrigation of the plantings must be balanced. Moreover, you always need to take into account the weather conditions. In hot weather, the amount of water is increased. With prolonged rains, watering stops altogether
- periodic feeding. It is very important to perform them during the period of formation and pouring of fruits. Young trees need organic matter. For adult plantings, complex fertilizers are suitable, which include superphosphate, saltpeter and potassium chloride. You also need to give mineral fertilizers. You need to be careful with feeding so as not to overdo it. After all, if there are a lot of them, then the tree will not bloom either. In this case, the seasonal growth of shoots will be increased.
- pruning. With proper crown formation, the apricot tree will not waste nutrients and will put all its energy into the formation of fruits. Be sure to cut off old and dried shoots. It is also necessary to remove damaged branches, otherwise the apricot will waste energy on its recovery.
Experienced gardeners note that adult apricots should periodically "rest" throughout the season. The fact that the plant needs "rest" is evidenced by a decrease in the amount of harvest. If the tree begins to bear fruit less, then you need to give it a "rest". For this, flowers are cut off from the branches.
Above were listed the main mistakes that are made when growing this crop. However, these are not all reasons. Why does the apricot not bloom? Was it badly pollinated?
If there is no fruit on the tree, this may be due to the fact that the ovary simply did not form. This is due to poor-quality pollination.
Many apricots are self-fertile varieties. This means that they do not need special conditions for the formation of ovaries and fruits. However, if unisexual plants were planted, then in this case the fruit will not appear without cross-pollination. These varieties require special pollinators. In this case, it is necessary for the pollinator and the same-sex variety to bloom at the same time. If one bloomed earlier and the second later, pollination will not occur. Therefore, you need to clearly know when the flowers bloom on the trees in the garden.
For pollination to take place, the distance between the plants must be less than 100 m. You can do otherwise and vaccinate. The material for it should be taken from a varietal tree. You can also attract bees to the garden. These insects are great pollinators.
Pollination can be influenced by weather conditions. For example, if the beginning of flowering coincided with prolonged rain and bad weather, then in such conditions the tree does not yield.
Diseases and pests
Sometimes the reason for the lack of a crop lies in the disease of the apricot and its defeat by parasites. In this case, the flowers blossomed and even pollinated, but suffered from insects and could not form an ovary. Also, they could simply not appear due to the fact that the tree was previously infected with pathogenic microflora. Ailments and parasites are especially dangerous for a young tree. After all, a newly planted seedling does not yet have the necessary immunity.
If the plant has been infected with fungi or viruses, then the formed buds may not bloom.
What to do
How to behave if the apricot does not bloom for some reason? It is necessary to find out the cause and eliminate it. Usually, it is enough to simply change the care: water more often, apply top dressing, properly prune, etc. Therefore, what to do depends only on your attentiveness when looking for the source of all the troubles of the tree.
Remember that your actions to eliminate the current situation should always be based on the identified deviations from the norm. But sometimes only a transplant can make a tree bear fruit. This radical method is applicable only to young trees.
How long does it take for an apricot to bear fruit after planting?
A newly planted plant does not immediately yield its first harvest. The year in which the apricot begins to bear fruit after planting directly depends on the following factors:
- Reproduction method. Purchased seedlings bear fruit for 3-4 years. In order to avoid an increase in the term, the seedling is dug into the ground so that the top sticks out at least 5 centimeters. If a gardener dares to grow a tree from a seed of a local fruit, the first harvest will appear 5-6 years after planting the apricot. Throughout the entire time, the tree requires pruning. This will significantly speed up the timing and quality of the first harvest. Plants grafted and propagated by cuttings bear fruit after 2 years. This breeding method is the most laborious, but quite fast.
- Varietal affiliation. When purchasing a seedling, it is important to pay attention to the quality indicators of a plant suitable for a particular region. Rapid survival rate contributes to early fruiting. The answer to the question of when the hybrid apricot will begin to bear fruit is rhetorical. Varieties bred by grafting or grafting often differ from the standard ones, and the period of their fruiting can only be learned from personal practice.
The reasons for the lack of color on the apricot
Most often, apricot does not give a bountiful harvest due to insufficient flowering or its complete absence. The reasons for this condition may be:
- insufficient age
- poorly tolerated wintering
- wrong fit
- lack of moisture
- poor nutrition
Too young tree
Do not worry if, after 1-2 years, the first flowers are still missing on the apricot seedling. It is worth waiting for the flowering of varietal trees at the 3rd, 4th or 5th year of life. Stone fruits, zoned for the southern regions, bloom faster than the northern ones. Early maturity is characteristic of hybrids of the following genetic groups:
- Central Asian
The peculiarities of the climate in the growing region can significantly affect the flowering of apricots. After a cold or little snowy winter, the plant needs first of all to recuperate, fruiting is not a priority. To activate flowering and the formation of ovaries, a combination of weather conditions is necessary:
- air temperature not lower than 10 ° С
- no return frost
- sufficient humidity.
Freezing of the buds leads to a violation of the fruiting regime, the tree directs energy to the growth of wood and the restoration of damage. Even a minimal temperature drop of 1-2 ° C is dangerous for flowers, so early warming with a return to normal can cause poor flowering.
When planting apricots on the site, it is important to strictly follow the rules of agricultural technology. The reasons for the lack of flowering can be:
- Wrong boarding time. In the northern regions and central Russia, it is better to plant apricots in the spring, since the autumn planting significantly slows down the development of the tree and leads to a delay in the first flowering.
- Bad place. Growing apricots on poor land does not allow the plant to develop normally, while an excess of organic matter in the soil enhances the growth of greenery, but interferes with the formation of flowers and fruiting.
- Incorrect landing height. Unlike other garden trees, it is advisable to plant apricots not in recesses, but forming a mound about half a meter high. It is important to keep the grafting site above the snow level.
Plants receive nutrients from the soil along with moisture, therefore, with insufficient watering, the apricot will not bloom even with sufficient nutrition. The taproot of the seedling goes to a depth of 2 m, while the bulk is very close to the surface. For normal development, frequent watering with a small amount of water is necessary.
Malnutrition provokes a weakening of the plant and leads to a delay in flowering. The balance of nitrogen and microelements should be maintained in the soil by introducing potassium, calcium and iron on time.
Violation of the fertilization regime leads to the activation of vegetative shoots instead of fruit ones.
Diseases of various types
The absence of apricot flowers can be influenced by diseases of horticultural crops, including:
- Gum flow caused by improper pruning, exposure to high and low temperatures, fungal infections.
- Moniliosis. The fungus leads to wilting and dropping of flowers at the bud stage.
- Clasterosporium disease. Fungal infection damages the buds, ovaries and young shoots entirely, destroying them at the very beginning of the growing season.
Insects damage buds and ovaries, leading to loss of color and future harvest. For flowering apricots, the danger is posed by such pests as:
- flower beetles
- peach and plum moths.
Often the problem with the harvest lies in improper tree care or neglect. It is solved simply, you just need to provide the apricot with regular watering, timely fertilizing and pruning the crown.
Watering is carried out several times a year:
- in April, when shoots start to grow
- in May
- in summer, two weeks before fruit ripening
- late autumn.
Please note that watering should be carried out only if there was no rain during the specified period. Apricot does not like waterlogging and stagnant water.
Organic fertilizers are used for young trees, and mineral fertilizers are required for fruit-bearing ones. In the second case, feeding is done several times, depending on the season, different types of fertilizers are used. In the spring, nitrogen-containing compounds are introduced into the soil two or three times. The most common is saltpeter, for each tree at least 300 g is needed. In summer, feeding is carried out by the foliar method, on the leaves, treating them with compositions containing nitrogen and trace elements that are required for the tree during this period.
From the second half of summer, it is necessary to stop adding nitrogen compounds, as they slow down the growth of shoots and reduce the resistance of the tree to cold weather. In the subsequent period, potash-phosphorus fertilizers are applied, in most cases wood ash and superphosphate are used for this. The latter is introduced in an amount of about 850 g. Then you can add a little chalk, which contains calcium, to the ground. Organic fertilizers for fruit-bearing trees are applied no more than once every 2 years.
When growing an apricot, pruning is necessary for the correct formation of its crown. In addition, there is also a sanitary and anti-aging image. Overall, this is one of the most important aspects of tree care. Any kind of pruning can be used for apricot. However, in order to get a good harvest, it is necessary to do it on time. The double pruning method will help to increase the yield. The first stage is carried out in early spring, before the leaves begin to bloom. At this point, frozen and broken branches are removed.
In mid-June, the time comes for the second stage, during which the apical buds are removed. Thanks to this, the growth of shoots is accelerated, on which flowers and fruits will form next year.In addition, the apricot receives protection from spring frosts, since the flowering period is postponed by several days.
During normal pruning, skeletal branches should not be touched; only growing shoots should be shortened.
However, if the tree is old, and yields from it are declining, then it is necessary to carry out anti-aging pruning. During this procedure, the skeletal and overgrown branches at the top of the tree are shortened. After that, the number of flowers in spring will increase and the yield will return to normal again.