It’s That Time of Year
June 14th, 2007
Do your last thinning on deciduous fruit trees after June drop has occurred. June drop is nature’s way of getting rid of an overload of fruit. It may occur any time between early May and July but is most likely to happen in June. One day you visit your apple, peach or apricot tree and find a circle of immature fruit lying on the ground under the branches. You may worry if you are new to fruit trees, but don’t panic! It’s a natural part of the cycle. These trees often set more than double the amount of fruit they could possibly ripen properly, so they simply drop off part of it.
If you thinned out fruit on your trees earlier, you enabled the remaining fruit to grow larger and thus will have less fruit dropping now. Nevertheless, you may need to remove even more fruit than naturally drops in order to space your crop evenly down the branches. Inspect other deciduous fruit trees that are less subject to June drop (plums for instance) and thin out their fruits also.
Clean up any fallen fruit under the tree before it has a chance to rot and spread disease. If it’s healthy, chop it and add it to your compost pile (cover it with earth to keep away flies and rodents). Also water your deciduous fruit trees deeply in June and July.