Flowering, fruit thinning and harvest of fruit trees

Best practices for fruit thinning.

Thinning of fruit is critical to achieve maximum fruit size.

  • Fruit thinning should begin on stone fruit when fruit is the size of a 10 cent piece and for apples when fruit reaches 25mm to 50mm in diameter.
  • Leave the most advanced fruit where possible as these will quite often be the largest fruit at harvest.
  • For young trees up to to 2 years old leave one fruit per lateral or twig, for stone fruit at 2 years old leave no more than 40 fruit per tree and apples the same.
  • For trees 3 years and older leave 1 fruit on small laterals and 2-3 fruit on thicker laterals for stone fruit. For apples leave no more than 3 fruit in a bunch.
  • Aim for 40-70 fruit per tree for strong healthy trees in year 3 and increase fruit numbers each year.
  • At year 4 years old for dwarf stone fruit, healthy trees planted in the ground will carry 200 fruit per tree, 150 fruit per tree if planted in a pot and apples 150 fruit if planted in the ground, 100 fruit if planted in a pot.

              Bud swell Apples                                                             Apple Blossom          




          Fruit thinning time.                                                              Fruit at Harvest