Fruit Tree Whisperer

Does anyone know of a fruit tree expert that we can hire to help us with fruit production?

We have pear (two different varietals) apple, plum, kiwi, fig, cherry, peach and a fruit salad tree. None but the apple have produced any fruit of substance (most are about 10 years old). All of them are producing a ton of green growth. We have had a professional in to show us how to prune and we’ve tried a few different techniques—last summer we tried to summer prune because that apparently helps with fruit production. It’s becoming disheartening because it takes a full year to discover that something doesn’t work :). We would love to find someone that we could hire to help us out with this…we’re tired of fiddling around…thank you!

I’m no expert but had a few thoughts. Just wondering if you are getting a lot of blossoms or not, and if you are, is it that they are not being pollinated? If you are doing the correct pruning I can’t imagine why you aren’t getting fruits, other than the lack of pollination. Do the trees get enough sun? You’ve probably gone over all of this already!

There is Bob Duncan from fruit trees and more in Saanich. It’s worth to give him a call. Also the Tree Eater at Denman Island. This might lead to something hopefully. Pollination is a good point too.
Best of luck

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Any thoughts are appreciated! We got some blossoms–most trees not many. We do have a thriving mason bee population that we installed two years ago and they seem to be pretty happy so I think it’s more of a blossom or pruning problem. Or a deficiency in the soil. We have top dressed the soil with fish compost for the past three years and I’m wondering if that’s a problem. We’re being too kind! As for sun, I think they get enough. Not tons, but more than eight hours a day. We also have underplanted most of the trees with herbs or strawberries and we water those. Maybe could be an issue. There are quite a few potential problems and I would love to know for sure which one to tackle so we can fix it! Thanks for the suggestions Kim!

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Excellent suggestion Nina…thank you!

Do you have multiple trees of the same fruit? Many fruit trees are diploid, some are even triploid. And therefore you need two or three different varieties to effectively pollinate your trees. Commonly, apples, pears, cherries and plums are diploid. Although there are some self fertile varieties.

One of our apple trees, the King is a triploid, and we have three other trees that bloom around the same time to pollinate it.

Bob Duncan advised us on our selection of trees to ensure we had proper pollination.

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try more phosphorus and potassium fertilizer. Your compost is high in nitrogen and produces lots of green growth. The other two nutrients will improve root and fruit growth as well as overall health. We overpruned one of our apple trees a year ago and reduced fruit production by 90 percent! Should be better this year.
I use a blended 18-18-18 fertilizer once in the spring and once in the fall to keep all our trees, shubs, flowers veggies and grass heal5hy.

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Hi John and thanks for this! Here’s a bit of an update on what we’ve done since I last posted. We had Karen Cummings in and I can’t recommend her enough! She agrees with you that the fish compost may have been the culprit and although it’s wonderful stuff it probably only needed to be applied once. She also helped with some summer pruning which should help with fruit production. This February she returned to train me on how to prune a kiwi. I had been doing it totally wrong before. So…fingers crossed we’re on the right track finally!