Fruit trees bear fruit normally once mature and continue to bear fruit for many years. So if a fruit tree is not bearing fruit, there is probably a good reason. This article will look at why fruit trees fail to bear fruit, and how to remedy the situation.
Has the tree reached bearing age? Most fruit trees bear fruit once they are about five to ten years old. If the tree was relatively young when purchased, it may require a few years before it bears fruit. If the tree is recently planted or less than an inch thick, wait a few years and see if it starts fruiting.
What is the physical condition of the tree? Is it free of disease and insect pests? Is the tree exhibiting robust, normal growth? If the tree is not healthy, it might not set a good crop of fruit. A healthy tree can be affected by a disease that destroys the flowers or fruit. Observe if the tree flowers, and what happens during and after bloom. Does the tree set fruit? If it does, what happens to the fruit after it starts to form? Research the conditions of the tree, and see if there is a disease or insect pest that can be identified and treated.
Is the climate favorable for that type of tree? Look up what zone the tree prefers and see if the climate matches it. Occasionally, an extremely cold winter can kill flower buds, and the tree will not bloom. A winter too warm can upset the spring growth of trees to be erratic, and more likely to not set fruit due to frost or poor pollination. Are there spring frosts? If the tree is in a frost pocket, it can potentially be affected by a spring frost in repeated years. Flowers are not cold hardy, and are killed during frosts. Even if the flowers appear unaffected, the fruiting parts of the flowers can still have been killed by the frost.
Are the fruit trees receiving proper pollination? Some fruit trees require a tree of another variety to pollinate it and set fruit. Because a variety of fruit tree, such as red delicious apple, is always propagated asexually, each red delicious tree is identical as if they were only one tree, and the variety will not pollinate itself. In this case, another variety of apple has to be planted nearby so they can cross pollinate. Look up the variety of tree and see if it needs a cross-pollinator. If it does, try to buy a larger tree as it will start setting flowers for cross-pollination sooner.
What other conditions can have affected the fruit trees? If a fruit tree has borne too large a crop the previous year, it will take a year off to recuperate. That is why it is common practice to thin fruit in June. What conditions do the trees like, and is the site they are on similar or different? Do they need more light? If there are too many other trees nearby, they compete with the fruit trees for soil nutrients and light. Removal of other trees, especially if they are in poor condition, is a viable remedy. More or less moisture? How good is the soil they are growing in? Eliminating weeds and incorporating organic matter can help offset poor soil.
These are the most common reasons that fruit trees fail to set fruit. By observing and assessing the situation, one can find out why the tree is not setting fruit, and take corrective measures.