Harry’s orchards are looking in fine form at the moment, but with a cold snap in late April it seems like the season is a little way behind from last years.
In a few weeks’ time Harry will be clearer on the crop for the coming season once the ‘June drop’ has taken place. With the season being slightly later, this natural process may not occur until July.
The process is believed to happen due to the trees level of carbohydrates. If the tree falls short of carbohydrates that are needed for the young crop of apples on the tree then it will naturally shed a small percentage of these in order to retain energy needed for the full growing season. This puts less stress on roots and shoots and although it seems like a dramatic loss of crop at the time, there’s little prevention for it. It’s important for this to happen in young trees until established.
With Harry’s young orchard four years old now the trees are growing extremely well at this time of year and he’s very happy with how they’re looking. It won’t be until year seven or eight that they’ll be near full crop so it’s a long process, but this year he’ll be expecting between one and two tons to the acre of apples.