The petals have fallen. The bees are flying on to other trees and plants.
Does this mean our apple tree is done and exhausted?
Certainly not. It’s time to set the fruit. Do a little natural thinning from all that exuberance of the last few weeks.
They begin tiny — little more than knobs at the end of a slender stem. Then the testing begins. Can they hang on during a breeze? Do they get pushed aside by a growing leaf? Is the competition for nutrients too stiff? One by one they fall to the ground. If they land on grass they have a chance to contribute to the cycle of life. Cement or asphalt landings increase the odds of getting crushed and swept away as debris.
Botany books call this “June drop”. Our tree is located in a mild enough climate zone that it happened in late May. Orchardists encourage this phenomena with a weak acid spray (Linc uses this in Hiding Places) or with manual removal of excess fruit.
The goal is one, or possibly two, large and healthy apples per blossom cluster.
I think our subject is setting up fine. I’m looking forward to a late summer snack already.
Hiding Places is now available as an ebook from Crimson Romance, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.