A Guide To Encouraging Your Apple Tree To Bear More Apples

If you have an apple tree in your backyard, you probably look forward to apple pies and applesauce every fall. So when autumn arrives and you only have a few apples to enjoy, it can be disappointing. Luckily, there are a few ways you can increase your backyard apple tree's production.

Plant a pollinator

Most apple trees are not self-pollinating. This means that the flowers must be pollinated by the pollen from a different variety of apple tree in order for the tree to produce fruit. If you don't have a lot of other apple trees in your area, the flowers may not all be getting pollinated. Planting a second apple tree near your first apple tree will increase your pollination rates and therefore the number of apples you get each fall. Make sure the second apple tree is a different variety than your first one.

Have the tree pruned

Part of the problem could be that your apple tree has too many older, non-productive branches. These branches need to be pruned away to make more room for younger, more productive branches to grow. The best time of year to have your apple tree pruned is late winter. Call and make an appointment for a pruning session with a company like Yarnell Tree Co Inc now so you don't forget. Then, going forward, have your tree trimmed annually to keep its production high.

Fertilize the tree

It could be that your apple tree simply does not have enough nutrients to produce bountiful fruit. An easy way to add nutrients back to the soil is with an all-purpose fertilizer. Dilute it according to package instructions, and then scatter it in a big circle around the tree. You could also put a layer of mulch around your tree. The wood chunks will slowly break down, adding nutrients back into the soil as they do so.

Water the tree

Apple trees are big plants with extensive root systems, so they're pretty adept at obtaining enough water, even when it has not rained in a while. But while they may obtain enough water to survive, they might  not be getting enough to produce a lot of apples. Get into the habit of watering your tree each time it does not rain for more than a week. Just set a hose three or four feet from your tree's base, and let it run for an hour. Make sure you do not get the trunk itself wet, as this can lead to rot.