I am a new apple grower with 2 3-year-old trees that I have grown in my high tunnel in Homer Alaska. They are strong and healthy Red and Golden Urban columnars with a several side upward growing branches. these are a good choice since the tree will not be wider than my 33 in. wide 16 in deep beds. Trunks are 2 inches thick. I have not pruned them since I am in Hawaii in late winter-early spring, but planned to once I could see which were branches and which were watershoots by the presence of blossoms. All branches grow upwards so it's hard to tell.
I was looking forward to having fruit this year, but they both have set very few blossoms and a bit out of synch. One tree had only one cluster, the other 4 clusters of blossoms. Problem was that the trees only overlapped one day of mutual bloom time. I hand pollinated once.
I have good rich soil with Ph of 6.4, lots of blood meal, bone meal and greensand as per soil test recommendations for vegetables. Also lots of manure, compost etc. All organic. Its good soil and grows great veggies. So my questions are:
Why do I not have more blossoms? Are my soils off for apples? Should I add more bone meal?
I added liquid fishbone emulsion to maybe get a second bloom. Was this wise?
Should I prune now to concentrate growth or wait till November dormancy?
Apple trees with no blossoms and fruit are silly.
Please advise. Thank you.
Several things to consider:
Age / maturity of the tree, three years is fairly young to expect fruit.
Temperatures in your high tunnel. Is the tree getting enough chilling hours during dormancy? If staying above freezing it might be detrimental to bloom.
Soil nutrients too high in N. All you will get is vegetation (good for veggies though). Sometimes stress on a plant promotes reproduction. Stressors such as space, room for roots, water, etc.
Tree structure, vertical growth has fewer fruiting spurs, force branches to grow horizontal or 30° - 45° above horizontal.