Why is it that Apple Trees Not Bear Fruit each year?

Gathering homegrown apples only once every two or more years is frustrating, but there are several solutions to this issue. Apple trees occasionally crop bi-yearly, called biennial bearing, due to bad conditions or excessively light or heavy crops. Some apple varieties are more prone to biennial bearing compared to others.


Apple trees usually grow too much fruit. If all of the apples in a tree grow to adulthood, the tree exhausts itself also creates a much-reduced harvest the next year. Home gardeners need to be ruthless about slimming young fruit in early summer to ensure the following year’s harvest is ordinary. Thinning involves removing the smallest fruits, leaving one per cluster. A simple guide is to abandon one fruit to each 40 to 75 leaves, and fruit should be evenly spaced across the branch.


Requirements that prevent apple trees in cropping normally can begin a biennial bearing habit. Prolonged anxiety from substandard water or nutrients severely reduces apple crops, and this also causes trees to blossom and fruit excessively the following year. Reasonable watering and use of fertilizer can help alleviate this issue. Awful weather conditions may also affect crops. Apple trees which lose blossom in a storm or cold snap tolerate a reduced or no harvest one year and also an excessively heavy harvest another.


Some apple varieties are more likely to turn into biennial bearers than many others. Two varieties understood for this are Braeburn and Sierra Beauty. Early-cropping varieties are also at risk and need thorough thinning. To grow normal-sized apples, early-cropping varieties desire a high ratio of leaf to fruit — more than 75 leaves to every fruit left on the tree — or they could blossom excessively the following year, resulting in biennial bearing.

Other Causes

Two causes of reduced apple tree crops have been poor pollination and incorrect pruning. Many apple trees need a compatible companion for successful pollination. Lack of blossoms on one tree, maybe due to bad weather or even the tree dying or being cut, may result in reduced fruit on its pollination spouse. It’s also possible to prune away the areas of a tree where fruit grows. This applies to tip-bearers or trees which bear fruit at the end of stems. (Ref 5 and 6)

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