Welcome! Log In Create A New Account

Advanced

Proneness to early drop

Posted by Pat McBride 
Proneness to early drop
November 04, 2018 03:33PM
I have been in conversation with the U of MN, and am considering getting licensed and planting a limited number of First Kiss apple trees. However, the U has advised me that since the variety is prone to early drop, it might not be the best choice for my small orchard. I know many considerations factor into early drop, and that some conventional growers use Retain, etc., but I am interested in any advice on how to manage varieties prone to early drop in a “naturally grown” orchard. (Even if it doesn’t turn out that I plant First Kiss, I’ll be glad for ideas, and apply them to Honeycrisp, which also tends to drop early.)

Pat McBride
Twin Oaks Orchard
Zone 4b in Minnesota
Re: Proneness to early drop
November 15, 2018 12:49PM
I don't have any scientific advice but in our orchard water management changes made a difference in the amount of early drop. Many of our cider varieties seem prone to this and we increased water this year. It seemed to make a difference, although a few varieties (Dabinette in particular) had some water core. Maybe unrelated, but I don't remember this variety having that problem before. This is in 6 year old trees. I've only seen early drop in Honeycrisp from crowding - we don't thin and HC set a huge crop this year and some got pushed off early. Good luck in your decision making!

VistaRidge orchard, Quilcene, WA zone 8a est. 2012
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
Re: Proneness to early drop
November 15, 2018 01:13PM
Water core is caused by a loading of sugars in the vascular system of the fruit. It is related to water, but not "better" water management. Water core usually is worse is WC prone varieties like Red Delicious and Fuji (I don't know how prevalent it is in cider varieties) and in droughty years where water is in deficit, but not excess. There isn't really anyway to reduce it organically (there are some synthetic sprays that can help) except avoid susceptible varieties and through better water management (i.e., avoid droughty conditions). Other than that, WC fruit is actually revered in Japan where a premium is paid for the extra sweet fruit. Be like Japan!

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: Proneness to early drop
November 19, 2018 12:24AM
Thankyou Mike, very interesting, I guess we did not water enough then, and yes it was a very dry summer for us.

VistaRidge orchard, Quilcene, WA zone 8a est. 2012
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login