6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Rotten Apples

We have an apple tree with fruits that get infected every year, and drop before they are completely ripe. We would like to prevent this, but we have pets and birds that visit the yard, and would like a method that will not be harmful to wildlife. Any idea how we can do this?

Re: Rotten Apples

What do the apples look like, what is on them? Describe the infection. If we can find out what the tree is getting infected with, we might be able to stop the early fruit drop. Do you have any idea what kind of apple tree it is? If not, describe the look of the apple, color and size.

When a tree drops its fruits early, it usually means there is a hormone that is being blocked, probably by this infection. Apple farmers spray their trees with growth hormones that actually aid in fruit growth and regulated drops. I forget which exact hormone spray these are, but I will see if I can look back at some books I have.

Re: Rotten Apples

In the winter you can spray the tree with lime sulfer and dormant oil. This will kill many overwintering eggs and fungi. This treatment is basically organic & will not affect anything other than intended.
Then in the summer spray with a fruit tree spray on a schedule recommended by the label. Whether it will harm the birds, pets or you is up to debate. Their may be other organic sprays and treatments that could be tried.
Sometimes fruit will fall off if not pollinated.

Re: Rotten Apples

We get rotting on our apples too. My husband swears that it's some form of stinging insect just taking a rest. I'm skeptical but it's not like we really use the crop anyway. The boys just like to snack on them.

Re: Rotten Apples

Are there any other apple trees in the area that you know of, apple species are not self-pollinating, so if it is a pollination issue, that may be why.

Re: Rotten Apples

I'm no expert, but I always though that if flowers were not pollinated, no fruit would appear (like tomatoes).
I, too, had an apple tree that dropped rather dry, unripe, wormy fruit. One year I finally did something about it. I got those little sticky traps for the moths that lay the eggs that eat your apples, really thinned the fruit while it was small, and made sure the tree got plenty of water on a regular basis. That year I had a good crop. My problem was that my kids wouldn't eat it, because of the nasty fruit the were used to seeing on that tree.
My son would not eat any fruit that didn't have a store sticker on it. One shopping trip I found a single apple nearly covered in stickers. I took it home, carefully removed the stickers and put them on the apples I had picked from my tree. After he had eaten them all, I admitted what I had done. He was mad, but the rest of us had a good laugh!

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.