Apple trees

I have a small apple orchard with 9 trees. This is the third year for the orchard, which I planted with trees that were about 6 feet when I planted them.
Four of the trees are red delicious and they have never had blossoms. (The other trees have blossomed and produced some fruit.) The red delicious don't look like they will have blossoms this year either. I am beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with them and they won't ever blossom. How long should one wait for trees like this to blossom?
Kevin Clark
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<< Subject: Apple trees From: snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Kevin Clark) Date: Wed, Apr 14, 2004 7:03 PM
I have a small apple orchard with 9 trees. This is the third year for the orchard, which I planted with trees that were about 6 feet when I planted them.
Four of the trees are red delicious and they have never had blossoms. (The other trees have blossomed and produced some fruit.) The red delicious don't look like they will have blossoms this year either. I am beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with them and they won't ever blossom. How long should one wait for trees like this to blossom?
Kevin Clark
Much depends on what rootstock these trees are on. Were they bought as Dwarf, Semidwarf, or standard trees? A secondary factor is whether the strain of Delicious is a "spur type" or standard. (BTW, the cultivar name is 'Delicious', not red delicous - this info is for the horticultural sticklers out there <G>)
I would expect dwarf Delicious trees to bloom by now, semidwarf trees should probably show some bloom this year; standards, perhaps not. Spur types typically bloom a year earlier than standards.
To encourage bloom next year:
1. Scoring - cut a continuous circle around the trunk about 2-3 weeks after bloom, usually last week in May to first week in June in Ohio.
2. spread limbs to about a 60 degree angle with the trunk. Do this ASAP.
Hope this is helpful
>><BR><BR>
John C. Schmid snipped-for-privacy@aol.com snipped-for-privacy@osu.edu
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Your success with Red Delicious (it may not be the registered cultivar name but it is widely used so as to distinguish from Golden Delicious and anyway, who cares) will depend heavily on where you are located. They are a high chill requirement apple and will not be very fruitful in more temperate climates - they need a cold winter and hot summer to bear fruit. They also require heavy cross pollination - orchardists in WA state (the largest producer of Red Delicious apples in the world) alternate rows of Red's with that of reliable pollenizers. The blossoms are also extremely frost sensitive, so that may be an issue as well. Provided that these conditions are addressed, even very young trees should blossom although the degree with blossoming will increase with maturity and proper spur development.
pam - gardengal
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You don't mention where you are. First guess: you are not getting enough chill hours for your tree to bloom. Second guess: late frosts are killing the blossoms. Need more info.
--
elizabeth, Baton Rouge, LA
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