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fruit cracking

Posted by Robbie Anderman 
fruit cracking
July 28, 2013 11:32PM
We got to thinning kinda late on our Haralson hardy winter keeper apple. The spring and early summer were kinda damp... and we're noticing that the fruit is cracking a good bit. And we're wondering whether it is because the sap that woulda gone to two or three apples is now going to one apple... too much, too fast, crack!
Any ideas?

Morninglory Farm
Zone 3b* in Ontario

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2013 06:48PM by Michael Phillips.
Re: fruit cracking
August 04, 2013 07:07PM
Exuberant rain will lead to fruit cracking, there's no doubt about that. Adequate boron is important here as well. But mostly this a varietal tendency when it comes to apples. It's said this problem improves in time, when trees get beyond the early bearing years, but here I'm not so sure.

A portion of the fruitlets on St. Edmund's Russet tend to crack year after year, and these trees are a good twenty years old now. Thinning seems relevant here. I thin these particular two trees of mine far less aggressively the first time through, sometimes even leaving 2 if not 3 apples in a cluster where a particular stretch of branch has "leaf resources" for more fruit in scattered clusters (St. Edmund's being a tip bearer, mostly). This variety is one of those that I try to hand thin early. I come through again a few weeks later and edit further, this time taking off severely-cracked fruit. Interestingly, this is an apple that self-sutures so I'm not necessarily all-out in this effort, knowing these will be good cider apples. But the worse ones definitely go so more energy can go into apples remaining on the tree.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
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