Apple blossoms: timing for different regions of cultivation and important nuances

Flowering apple orchards is one of the best decorations of our spring. In addition, it is during flowering that the foundation for the future harvest of apples is laid.

How and when apple trees bloom

Apple trees bloom abundantly and regularly only in places well-lit by the sun. In a dull shadow, flowering may never occur, or the first single flowers will be closer to 20 years of the tree's life.

Apple trees bloom profusely only in places well-lit by the sun

The usual average timing of the beginning of flowering and fruiting of apple trees in good conditions (table)

Tree typeThe average age at the time the first flowers appear
Wild apple and seedlings of cultivars10-15 years
Vigorous stock cultivars5-12 years old
Cultivated varieties on a dwarf rootstock3–6 years old

Apple trees are quite durable and in favorable conditions can bloom and bear fruit for up to 100 years or more.

The apple tree blooms at the same time as the leaves open or a little after it. From the beginning of bud development to flowering, it usually takes about two weeks in hot weather and up to three to four weeks in cool weather .

The timing of budding and blooming apple trees in different regions of cultivation (table)

The Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, Crimea, southern Ukraineend of March - beginning of Aprilsecond - third decade of April
Saratov, Volgograd, the center of Ukrainesecond - third decade of Aprilend of April - beginning of May
South and west of central Russia (Tula, Oryol, Bryansk), Chernozemye, Belarus, northern Ukrainesecond half of Aprilfirst - second decade of May
Center of the middle strip of Russia (Moscow, Moscow region, Nizhny Novgorod), Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Samara, Ufa, Orenburgend of April - beginning of Maysecond - third decade of May
North-West of Russia (St. Petersburg, Leningrad Region, Karelia), Kirov Region, Middle Urals (Perm, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk), Novosibirskfirst half of mayend of May - beginning of June

The timing of the beginning of flowering is very dependent on local conditions:

  • in the city, apple trees bloom earlier than outside the city limits;
  • on the plain earlier than high in the mountains;
  • on the southern slope earlier than on the northern;
  • in an open sunny place earlier than in shading.

The average flowering time of an apple tree is about 10 days . In hot sunny weather, flowering begins earlier and lasts only 5-6 days. In cool cloudy weather, flowering is delayed and can stretch for 2-3 weeks.

Small-fruited apple trees (ranetki, Chinese), genetically related to the Siberian berry apple tree (Siberian), usually bloom a few days earlier than European large-fruited varieties.

Siberian apple tree and its descendants (ranets, Chinese) are easily identified by the characteristic long pedicels

We have on the Middle Volga the flowering order is as follows:

  1. The first decade of May - small-fruited (wild or semi-wild, with long pedicels, obvious descendants of Siberia) apple trees on city streets.
  2. The second decade of May - the usual domestic apple trees in the city, runetki and Chinese women in country gardens, individual wild apple trees on the open southern slopes along the high bank of the Volga.
  3. The third decade of May - the bulk of cultivated apple trees in country gardens, wild apple trees on the forest edges, random seedlings in the dense shade of city courtyards.

Photogallery of blooming apple trees

Most apple varieties have pink buds and pinkish-white flowers

Some varieties of apple trees have pure white flowers

Chinese women, ranets and Siberians have white flowers on very long pedicels

Ornamental apple varieties often have bright pink flowers.

Nedzvetsky's apple tree - the ancestor of most varieties with red and bright pink flowers

Very rarely found decorative varieties of apple trees with double flowers

Most cultivars of apple trees have pink buds and white-pink flowers (paler on the inside of the petals and brighter on the outside). There are varieties with pure white flowers. Numerous ranets, Chinese and Siberians are identified by their characteristic long pedicels; their petals are usually white. A classic apple-tree flower has 5 petals; decorative varieties with double flowers are rare in our countries, although they are quite common in China.

In recent years, decorative varieties of apple trees with bright pink or almost red flowers, originating from the Central Asian apple tree of Nedzvetsky, have become very fashionable. Often they have red, not only flowers, but also young leaves. Some modern varieties of this type are quite winter-hardy and can grow normally in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and similar climate regions.

Ornamental apple trees with bright pink flowers are often planted to decorate city parks.

All decorative apple trees (with red flowers, terry, weeping and so on) have edible fruits, but their apples are most often small, sour and tart, like those of wild animals, and are suitable only for processing and canning.

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The fruits of ornamental apple trees are usually small, sour and tart.

The frequency of flowering apple trees

Some old varieties of apple trees bloom and bear fruit in a year:

  • the first year, abundant flowering and bearing;
  • next year the trees rest - no flowers, no fruits;
  • in the third year, abundant flowering and good harvest again.

Most modern varieties bloom and bear fruit annually.

Many old varieties (for example, Antonovka, Streifling, Anis) have a weakly pronounced periodicity: flowering occurs annually, but the number of flowers is greater or less, depending on the year. Align the fruiting of such varieties with good care:

  • timely anti-aging pruning, providing annual strong growth of branches;
  • annual application of a sufficient amount of fertilizer;
  • maintaining optimal soil moisture (the apple tree is moisture-loving, and in arid areas it needs watering).

In small trees with periodic fruiting, it is sometimes also advised to pick off part of the flowers and extra ovaries in order to reduce the load and ensure the laying of flower buds for the next year.

Only a few old varieties bear fruit strictly after a year, and nothing can be done about it. For the northern and central regions, this is primarily characteristic of Grushovka; in the southern gardening zone, the Kandil-synap behaves in a similar manner.

Grushovka Moscow - an old Russian apple-tree variety with abruptly periodic fruiting that cannot be corrected

In my garden there are two huge old Grushovka (conditionally called “yellow” and “red”, their fruits are slightly different in color and taste) with clearly expressed periodic fruiting. Once, during the time of my childhood, they bore fruit in turn (one year, two years), and it was very convenient. Then, after several unsuccessful years in a row (either frost, weevil, or something else wrong), the schedule went astray, and both Grushovka began to bloom and bear fruit at the same time. Nothing was done with this. And so we live: one year nowhere to step from summer apples - the second year not a single apple until September, when the autumn varieties begin to ripen.

Protective measures associated with apple blossoms

During flowering, apple orchards are very vulnerable. If the weather is cloudy, cold and rainy, as well as in strong winds, domestic bees almost do not fly out of their hives, and many flowers remain dustless. In bad weather, only bumblebees and wild bees fly, therefore it is so important to protect these wild pollinating insects, and for this, first of all, maintain a healthy ecological situation on the site and not abuse pesticides.

Bumblebees are the most valuable wild pollinating insects that regularly visit flowers even in bad weather.

During flowering, frosts that damage buds, flowers, and young ovaries are very dangerous. The only truly reliable protection against frost can be considered only sheltering dwarf trees with protective agrofibre for a period of lowering air temperature.

Reprinted from book to book, recommendations for protecting gardens from frost with smoke piles seem to me very doubtful. At least in our case on the Middle Volga absolutely all classical frosts (short-term sharp drops in air temperature at night and in the early hours of the morning) occur exclusively in clear, calm weather, when any smoke rises vertically upwards with a narrow column. And from smoke caused by Arctic cyclones of long cold snap with a strong gusty wind, even more so no smoke will save.

Apple orchards are very affected by the weevil beetle, capable of destroying almost all buds on apple trees during the years of its mass appearance.

Flower weevil weevil and bud damage caused by it (photo gallery)

Damaged flower beetle buds dry without blooming

Larvae of a flower beetle gnaw inside the buds of an apple

Blooming weevil lays eggs on the buds of an apple tree

Therefore, from the moment of opening the buds and before the flowering begins, the gardener should regularly inspect the trees in his garden in order to timely detect the pest and take measures. In a small garden, you can simply shake off the beetles in the early cool morning, when they are inactive, on a tarp laid under the trees and destroy. Large gardens are sprayed with pyrethroid insecticides no later than 5 days before the buds open. Immediately after the flowering of the trees, re-spraying with pyrethroid preparations is carried out to protect the crop from the codling moth and fruit sawfly.

Any chemical treatments directly during flowering are strictly prohibited: pesticides kill not only pests, but also beneficial insects, including bees and bumblebees.

The flowering period is a very important and crucial stage in the life of the apple orchard, requiring attention from the gardener. Trees will certainly thank the caring owner with an abundant harvest of delicious apples.


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