Why isn't my tree bearing fruit?

Nothing is more frustrating than having a tree that refuses to bear fruit. There are a few common reasons why trees have not borne fruit yet including:

  • Age: fruit trees often take several years to begin bearing fruit, you can find approximate times HERE for when each kind of tree generally begins producing fruit
  • Variety: some varieties naturally take longer to bear fruit than others, this is called precocity. Highly precocious varieties will bear fruit sooner than varieties with low precocity. We list the precocity of our trees on the product description on our website. Do some research on what varieties you have to see if they may be slower to get started. 
  • Rootstock: dwarf trees will come into production sooner than semi-dwarf or full size trees.
  • Pollination: many fruit trees, especially apples and pears, need to be planted with another variety in order to cross pollinate and produce fruit and all trees will produce more and better fruit when planted with a compatible variety. Some of the factors to consider for pollination are:
    • Distance: is there another tree of the same species but of a different variety planted within 100ft of your tree? If the other tree is too far away then it will not pollinate.
    • Bloom time: does the bloom time of your trees overlap? If the bloom times do not overlap then pollination will not take place. See HERE for more information on bloom time
    • Triploid apple: If you have two apples and one is not bearing fruit while the other is, check to see if the one bearing fruit is triploid. Triploid trees have sterile pollen and cannot pollinate their neighbors. 
    • Plums: Plums can just be fickle when it comes to pollination! Try cutting off the flowering branch of a variety of plum that in known to pollinate yours, putting it in a glass jar full of water, and tying it among the branches of your plum tree to encourage pollination.
  • Frost: late spring frosts can kill the blossoms on fruit trees and prevent fruit formation, this is very common with stone fruits in cooler climates like ours but there are ways to prevent frost damage. See HERE for some ideas on dealing with frost.
  • Pruning: it is important to keep up with pruning and maintaining your tree as a failure to do so can limit or prevent fruit formation, or yield smaller fruit than desired