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What to do with fruit trees during the ‘June Drop’

Now we’re halfway through June, owners of fruit trees may have noticed the fruit starting to drop off from the trees.

Commonly known as the ‘June Drop’, the early summer sees fruit trees flowering to the extent that they naturally shed some of their produce.

english woodlands fruit trees

This is usually caused by either an excessive fruit load, whereby there is a surplus amount of fruit that becomes too heavy for a tree to carry.

Other causes tend to be that a tree has limited carbohydrate resources and needs to lose fruit to respire properly, or even turbulent weather conditions. Another major cause of damaged fruit, unsuitable for a crop, is inadequate cultivation, and this is something that you can rectify yourself.

Pruning to allow the tree’s branches, in order for it to access more light, is one method that gardeners may want to try.

Another useful method is to thin your fruit (i.e. manually removing any surplus) in order to help immature trees to conserve energy. Instead this energy will be spent on developing roots, foliage and branches, meaning the tree will have a better foundation to harvest in future years. Certainly, it is important that a specimen does not expend too much energy in a year’s crop, lest it affect the next year’s produce.

Pruning and thinning benefits the remaining fruits, allowing them to develop to the right size, and allowing them good access to sunlight and oxygen.

When it comes to apple or pear trees, you will want to remove any fruit that has an odd shape, position, or that are damaged in any way. Within any given cluster, there will often be a ‘king’ fruit that has all of these attributes, and will definitely need removing right away. Make sure you use secateurs or long scissors for the job, or you can twist them off by hand if that’s easier.

Plums have a habit of over-cropping too, but are easy to thin out with a thumb and forefinger; leave out one pair every 15cm.

If your fruit has already started dropping, you will want to get started thinning and pruning, maintaining the trees as you see fit until mid-July.

If you have any questions or queries on best pruning and thinning practices, don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’re hoping to buy fruit trees then we have pear, apple, cherry, plum trees and more available online, in our fruit trees category.

Furthermore, if you would like to purchase any of our hedges, shrubs, accessories, or trees for gardens, then feel free to browse the site to view our comprehensive selection.

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