3yo Fruit Trees - with no fruit!

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by outtherebear, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. outtherebear

    outtherebear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm hoping I might glean some wise advice here about my fruit trees. We planted our trees 3 seasons ago - two apples, two plum, a nectarine & apricot - and, apart from a few apples the first season (which the possums got because they weren't netted then!), we haven't had any fruit. This year there are a couple of flowers on the nectarine - but the tree now sadly has leaf curl.

    We prepared the soil well with lots of manure and have weed mat plus gum mulch around them. Each year we've added more manure around each tree and I sometimes give them a liquid fertilise too (like maxicrop). Hubby prunes them in autumn. There is a good amount of new growth and leaves. The nearby lemon tree and berries are all very healthy and get the same care.

    I asked at a nursery on the weekend what the problem could be and they suggested it could be too much fertiliser!! Could that be the cause? Any hints or tips you might have are much appreciated - next year I'd like at least one piece of fruit to make all the hard work worthwhile! As you can tell, I'm a little new to this - hoping my PDC early in the new year will help get me on the right track...

    Thanks for listening,
    OTB
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    4,771
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: 3yo Fruit Trees - with no fruit!

    That is possible
    Fruit, is the tree making the next generation. They may think things are too good for them to bother about a gen X.
    You can't over fertilise lemons, but stone fruits, maybe.

    Fruiting also depends on how you prune them. Some bear on new growth, some on old growth. I always get very confused about who does what, and always have to look it up.

    Are they grafted trees?

    You can cure the leaf curl in the nectarine with a copper nail driven into the main trunk. You can get a copper nail at a ship/yaught chandler's shop.
    That does suggest a slight trace element deficiency. Have you tested your soil pH?
     
  3. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Re: 3yo Fruit Trees - with no fruit!

    Hi outtherebear. What type of soil do you have underneath that weedmat? I've seen weed-mat do terrible things to soil, especially if it is a clay soil. The theory is that it stops weeds but still lets the moisture through. But in my experience, it just teaches the weeds to grow on top of it, getting increasingly worse as the mulch breaks down into a nice little potting mix, for the weeds, and then the weeds become even more difficult to deal with because their roots become embedded in the weave of the mat. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that lots of that good stuff the broken down mulch makes doesn't get down to the root systems of the trees. It creates a sort of artificial barrier. Further to that I have often seen the roots of the plants (such as the fruit trees) crowd around at the interface just under the mat, perhaps trying to get some fresh air? The effects of weed mat over time just seem to get worse in my opinion and experience.

    Apart from that it is plastic...

    I know you probably spent a lot of money on it, but I would really recommend getting it up before getting it up gets too hard and put it so some other good use.

    Cheers
    Grahame
     
  4. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: 3yo Fruit Trees - with no fruit!

    Be patient ,, I am pleased to get fruit off trees in 3 years here . Even on grafted trees it may take another year .
    Several trees I am growing may take 20 years to bear ! Mangosteen
     
  5. outtherebear

    outtherebear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: 3yo Fruit Trees - with no fruit!

    Yes, they are grafted trees - no, soil not tested yet but is something I'd like to do down the track.
    The soil is quite dark and with mostly good drainage. The mandarin tree was suffering wet feet and have moved that with success, but the other trees are on higher ground. I was wondering if the weed mat had something to do with it! There are some weeds growing above the mulch now which kind of defeats the purpose - for our natives we use thick newspaper under the mulch, is that a better way to go?

    Yes, patience is a virtue and I probably would be more ohm about it except that there was some fruit the first year and so I really think it is something we are doing/have done that is causing the hiatus!

    Thanks so much for all the replies and help - much appreciated :p
     
  6. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    4,771
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: 3yo Fruit Trees - with no fruit!

    pH testing is cheap. you can buy a kit for about $20 from your nursery.( Some Ag departments give them away!) This kit is enough for hundreds of tests. IMHO it is the single most important factor in plant growth.

    Trace element deficiency testing, is far more expensive, but with all the seaweed emulsion you are using that shouldn't be a problem.

    Have you pruned the trees at all?

    My home-made cure for unresponsive, unproductive trees is:-
    1. Plant some English chamomile around the base ("The Plant's Physician")
    2. Stroll down to the tree one day casually holding an axe, machete or chain saw. Explain to the tree the 'facts of life'. "Everyone here needs to pull their weight" etc. Don't tell the tree it is in for the chop if it doesn't do something, but imply it heavily.
    That has often worked for me. (Seriously it HAS worked!) :).
     

Share This Page

-->