As we go about picking in the orchard during the apricot season, we see the end result of the thinning we did a couple of months ago – where it worked, and where it didn’t. Here’s a bunch of apricots that were missed in the thinning, and you can clearly see the outcome.
Out of this bunch of four, two apricots have grown normally, and two are stunted, slightly shrivelled, and not really edible – these are the ones that should have been removed when we were doing the thinning.
When they’re removed, you can see that we’re left with two reasonably sized, delicious looking apricots. But…how much bigger could they have been?
The energy that the tree has put into the two discarded fruit would have been better put into growing just two pieces of fruit in the bunch to a larger size.
This is just one reason why it’s a good idea to do thinning early, hard, and thoroughly! We’re aiming to always maximise the ratio of usable, edible fruit to core/stone that the tree produces.
We’ve also seen quite a few of these broken laterals in the orchard, which is another problem caused by leaving too much fruit on a branch that isn’t big enough to carry the weight.
Having put all our care and attention into growing and pruning the tree, it’s then our responsibility to make sure we don’t leave too much fruit on any one branch or lateral than it can carry, to protect these precious growing areas.