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June Drop is where apple trees (maybe others?) tend to fruit prolifically from every flower, then naturally thin out a lot as the fruit start to grow - typically around June.

I'm unsure if this means apples should be left to their own devices, or I should intervene for best crop results? If so, how should I do this and should it be before or after the June drop occurs?

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Always after June drop, and only if its necessary. It often isn't necessary, but if your tree is still over burdened with fruits and they're all touching one another, a bit of judicious removal should help prevent brown rot setting in and spreading. Incidentally, June drop seems to be late this year in the UK, possibly as a result of the very wintry March and early April we had. You will know when its taken place by seeing the fruitlets on the ground around the tree; it may already have taken place. There's a video here https://www.rhs.org.uk/videos/advice/Apple-thinning that might be of help.

  • June drop may be late because we are in the Eddy Grand Solar Minimum? 206 year cycle of the sun's hibernation? This one is called Eddy after some scientist, the recent and profusely recorded GSMs are Centennial, Maunder and Dalton and...others. – stormy Jun 25 '18 at 22:52
  • Excellent video, Bamboo. Wish he'd use bypass pruners not anvil...but watching his hands, those sun tanned working hands? So nimble with his pruners? I would be a fool to tell him bypass is better than anvil. Fun to watch him work. So rare to see people actually pruning, digging, working on videos. What about these BUSH apples with the curly stems? Never heard of apple shrubs. – stormy Jun 25 '18 at 22:57
  • I only use bypass pruners myself...anvil are too clunky! My sister's the fruit tree expert - she used to work on a fruit farm years ago, she knows all sorts of tricks with those that I know little about. – Bamboo Jun 25 '18 at 23:29
  • The deal with anvil is smashing the vascular system so that when you cut off a stem or branch both sides of the vascular system get smashed leaving the freshly cut side on the living side of the plant a smashed vascular system susceptible to disease. Ugh. These are not well written sentences...ha ha ha. Anvil type pruners have been ousted by Master Gardeners and Master Pruners. By pass makes a clean, more surgical cut. – stormy Jun 26 '18 at 1:37

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