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How do apple fruiting spurs regrow - I accidentally removed them!!

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  • How do apple fruiting spurs regrow - I accidentally removed them!!

    Hi guys and gals,

    I have a Discovery apple on M26 rootstock that I planted in Jan 2015 (it was 2yrs old at that time). I tried to do formative pruning last winter but, being an idiot, I seem to have accidentally removed fruiti g spurs thinking they were small branches. The tree is healthy with good branch structure but (obviously) very few flowers and fruit.

    In what way and how long do fruiting spurs take to regrow? Am I best carrying on and seeing what hppens or pruning back existing branches this summer to let new fruiting spurs grow on new wood? Tried googling how they regrow but couldnt find an answer.

    Cheers!

    Joe Kav

  • #2
    Year 1: new shoot grows, each leaf leaves behind a bud when the leaf falls in autumn.

    Year 2: some of last years buds grow into new shoots while some of those which haven't grown will turn into blossom buds/spur buds. It seems random as to which buds form shoots, which buds form spurs and which buds remain dormant for many years or permanently dormant.

    Year 3: blossom/spur buds will flower and fruit. Spur buds may then form clusters of flower buds for the following year.


    Exceptions:
    1. If a tree is hard pruned in winter, some or all blossom buds may revert back to shoot buds and produce new wood the following year rather than blossom.
    2. Hard pruning, generous use of nitrogen-rich fertiliser or lack of direct sunshine discourages the conversion of last years leaf buds into blossom buds.
    3. Tip-bearers or part-tip-bearers sometimes blossom along the sides of shoots which grew the previous year and don't wait that extra year for a bud to form into a spur.
    4. Mild water shortage and plentiful sunshine may increase leaf bud conversion to blossom buds.
    .

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    • #3
      Legend! Thanks FB. So by that logic, hardpruning the branches / shoots out would not be a good idea. Perhaps just watch and wait? Ah decisions decisions!

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      • #4
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Joeka101 View Post
          Legend! Thanks FB. So by that logic, hardpruning the branches / shoots out would not be a good idea. Perhaps just watch and wait? Ah decisions decisions!
          With some varieties and/or some rootstocks and/or some growing conditions, hard pruning may be required for several years. Better to get it shape right from the start than try to put it right later.
          .

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          • #6
            Brilliant explanations as ever FB. Good to see you back sharing your knowledge.

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