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The apple tree is one of the most commonly cultivated perennial crops, both in professional horticulture and in domestic kitchen gardens or your own orchard. Although the yield is actually considered to be quite certain, it happens again and again that the apple tree does not bloom. In the following, we will explain in a simple and understandable way which causes can be the underlying cause and which help will still help to blossom.

causes and remedy

Of course, the reasons for the apple tree not flowering can be very diverse and also individual. However, in the majority of cases, the cause lies in one of the following recurring circumstances:

Bad growth

When apple trees are replanted, most of the energy goes into establishing your own location. Only then is energy invested in reproduction through blossoms and apples. If a young tree needs all of its energy to develop roots, the blossoms will initially not appear as an energy-saving measure.

  • Emergence: Planting with few roots, or in soil that is difficult to root through; Underplanting with nutrient competitors
  • Impact: Apple tree does not flower due to lack of nutrients
  • Remedy: keep the tree grate free of underplanting, fertilize regularly

Too young plant

Just like humans and animals, the apple tree needs a certain amount of time from germination to growing up to reproductive maturity. In particular, grafted trees blossom quite early, but even such a young apple tree usually does not blossom in the year after planting. Plants grown from the core, as well as old varieties of Malus Domestica, on the other hand, can take up to six years or more to flower.

  • Emergence: natural development phase
  • Effect: no fruit yield until "sexual maturity"
  • Remedy: no remedy possible, waiting time for the tree to develop is biologically necessary


Even a high-yielding apple tree in its prime only produces flowers of varying intensity. Certain varieties, such as Boskoop, Cox Orange or Elstar, tend to flower profusely one year and have no or very few flowers in the second year. The years without flowering represent a recovery phase for the tree, which on the one hand cannot be influenced and on the other hand should not be, in order not to endanger the recovery phase.

  • Emergence: Predisposition in the apple variety, trigger mostly weather-related
  • Effect: years of low to no yield alternating with years of high yield
  • Remedy: Hardly a remedy possible

tip: Although it is impossible to stop the alternation by pruning the apple tree appropriately, a certain weakening of the alternating phases can be achieved. In years with little or no flowering, a growth-inhibiting pruning can be carried out in order to reduce the reduced flowering output as a result of the strong growth in these alternating phases.

Wrong cut

Just as the yield can be increased by pruning the tree, it can happen that the apple tree does not develop any flowers in the following year if it is pruned incorrectly. If excessive growth is stimulated by the cut, shoot formation can be at the expense of flower formation.

  • Emergence: Removal of the shoots bearing flowers in the following year, too much stimulation of the shoots due to incorrect pruning
  • Effect: redirection of growth energy to new shoots instead of flowers
  • Remedy: moderate pruning of the right shoots

Wrong apple variety

Increasingly, mass-grown intensive varieties from commercial fruit cultivation are also being offered to hobby gardeners, such as the Braeburn apple variety. The varieties are grafted onto a slow-growing rootstock in order to thrive in extremely dense plantation cultivation. If such a tree suddenly has room to develop in the private garden, it can only inadequately fulfill the growth opportunities offered to it, so that the flowers fail to appear in favor of shoot formation.

  • Emergence: Incorrect spatial possibilities for weak-growing intensive cultures
  • Effect: Redirect vigor from buds to shoots
  • Remedy: growth-inhibiting autumn pruning


Nitrogen is one of the essential growth bases of all plants. Too much of this substance, on the other hand, leads to disproportionate growth of the roots and branches being stimulated. This sometimes manifests itself in such a way that the tree focuses on growth and no longer blooms.

  • Formation: Oversupply of nutrients, especially nitrogen
  • Effect: too much growth with neglect of flowering
  • Remedy: fertilize less and more specifically, ideally soil analysis before fertilizer application

late frost

The visible consequences of a late frost are usually damage to the existing flowers or even fruit buds. However, it can also be the case that the first buds are so damaged by frost that it is impossible to see fully formed flowers.

  • Origin: intense frost after the flowers have started
  • Effect: no expression of the flowers due to previous damage in the beginning
  • Remedy: no remedy possible

notice: Ultimately, the late frost is not a real cause of the apple tree not blooming. Because the flowers are very well set, but only incompletely formed. However, since the effects for the viewer are the same as if there was no flowering at all, this point should be mentioned for the sake of completeness.


Whether human, animal or plant, the performance of the organism decreases with age. This also affects the ability to reproduce. It can be a natural part of the aging of an apple tree that the formation of flowers does not occur when growth performance and the possibility of supply through the roots decrease.

  • Formation: natural aging
  • Effect: Tree no longer blooms due to lack of nutrients and poorer supply
  • Remedy: not possible

tip: With intensive care and optimal care, you can delay the end of flowering and thus the end of fruit yield in aging apple trees. On the other hand, it is impossible to postpone it indefinitely or even stop it completely!

Intense pest infestation

If an apple tree is severely weakened by excessive pest or disease infestation, it can shut down subordinate functions to protect the entire organism in order to save energy. Therefore, an intensive infestation can also lead to the tree blooming only slightly or not at all in individual years. If the infestation is over, the flowering performance in the following year is usually unaffected.

  • Origin: Infestation by parasites, pathogens or other parasites
  • Effect: Restriction or absence of the flowering phase
  • Remedy: early control of the infestation, at the same time ensuring an optimal supply of nutrients and water to strengthen the tree

danger: Depending on the type of pest infestation, individual shoots can be completely damaged, so that no new flowers appear despite overcoming the infestation. In these cases, a complete loss of the shoot can usually be assumed and it should be removed to strengthen the rest of the tree!

apple spider moth

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