Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thinning

In order for fruits like apples and some others to reach their full size, it's occasionally necessary to remove one from a cluster. Here you see five apples. The one in the middle is called the "king" apple, and today, the king must die.



After I twist off the middle fruit, you can see how the others have at least a little more room. This is hard for me to do, and I'm not 100% convinced I have it right. On the other hand, these are those under-disease seige espaliered apples, so any crop is a bonus and I want to make it easy on them.

8 comments:

Susan said...

Why is the king the one that has to die? It seems if you removed one of the 4 above the king all three would have more growing space around them.

Stefaneener said...

I don't know -- it was a technique invented by peasant rebels?

Guess I'll do more reading about it.

Toni-zone 4 WY said...

Hi there. What kind of apples are they?

Stefaneener said...

Fuji on 6-branch espalier.

I think some of the varieties other than Fuji are fruiting also - one of the three trees is a multi-mix, but it's the Fujis in the picture.

kitsapFG said...

The fruits look quite healthy and you are wise to do the hard chore of thinning. Often folks who do not, end up with a bunch of fruit drop anyway and lose more than if they had just thinned in the first place. Good work!

Stefaneener said...

Thanks, kitsap! I've done more reading and apparently I should be thinning even more. Maybe if I spread it out over a few days it won't feel so painful.

I'm already seeing some fruit drop. I just wish I "got" my fruit trees in the same way I can read most of the vegetables. Maybe over time.

patricia said...

Good for you for being so ruthless! I think I often cut my espaliered trees a little slack and don't thin much, since they have less fruit than standard trees. But I should probably set out to slay a few kings.

Did it turn out that you have fireblight?

Stefaneener said...

I haven't yet gotten the twigs to the nursery, but they aren't black, which is what they said they'd look for.

I may have to be just as ruthless with my clippers. Yikes.

Having a couple of other apple trees (even if they're not bearing much at all this year) does seem to take the pressure off.