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Why isn’t my apple tree producing fruit?

Pittsburgh Apple Trees

When it comes to growing apple trees in Pittsburgh, you may encounter some issues with getting your tree to produce fruit. Common apple trees grown in our area include red delicious, honey crisp, granny smith, golden delicious, and McIntosh. If you have any of these apple trees on your property, but they haven’t produced fruit, you may be wondering what is causing this.

Common Reasons Your Tree Isn’t Producing Fruit

Lack of Pollination

One possible reason is a lack of pollination. Apple trees require cross-pollination with another apple tree to produce fruit. If there are no other apple trees nearby, your tree may not be getting the necessary pollen for it to bloom and bear fruit. Apple trees should be planted within 50-100 feet of other apple trees and other flowering plants to ensure proper pollination.

Lack of Sunlight, Water, and Nutrients

Another potential cause is insufficient sunlight, watering, or nutrients. Apple trees need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to ensure that their buds open and set fruit properly, so keep this in mind when planting them.

You should water your apple trees when the soil is dry. To check if your apple tree soil is dry, push your finger into the soil up to your second knuckle to check for moisture.

Apple trees also require fertilization with a balanced NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). An example would be a 5-5-5 used as directed during the growing season. If you want a more natural fertilizer, you can apply two inches of compost every one to two months to provide nutrients to your apple trees. If you have a younger tree, try a fertilizer with higher nitrogen, but avoid using this type of fertilizer that isn’t bearing fruit. Additionally, if the tree is diseased, this type of fertilizer is not recommended.

Fertilizer should be applied three inches or more away from the trunk of the tree to avoid burns.

Not Mature Enough

Immaturity may also be a cause. If you have recently planted your apple tree, it may simply be too young and immature to produce fruit yet. Most newly planted apple trees will take several seasons before they are mature enough to set and bear fruit consistently. It’s best to allow the trees to mature for about 1-3 years and cross-pollinate them with other apple trees for best results.

If none of these apply to your situation, then it’s possible that your tree is suffering from a disease or pest infestation. If this is the case, it’s important to identify and treat the issue immediately in order to save the tree and revive its productivity. You can hire an arborist from Horhut Tree Experts to diagnose and address potential problems.

In summary, there are several potential reasons why your apple tree isn’t producing fruit, ranging from lack of pollination to insufficient sunlight or disease/pest issues. Fortunately, many of these issues can be remedied with proper care and attention.

Tree Maintenance Services in Pittsburgh

If you take the time to identify what’s causing the problem and address it accordingly, you should soon see your apple tree bearing beautiful fruit. The arborists at Horhut Tree Experts can evaluate your apple trees, checking for damage or diseases that may be affecting their ability to produce fruit. Contact us today to learn more about our Pittsburgh tree services and how we can keep your trees looking healthy!

Jaime Horhut