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Why Does My Fruit Tree Have No Flower Blossom?

wild cherry blossom

Many people have romantic dreams of a garden resplendent with delicate blossom, contrasting beautifully with the lush, green surroundings. But for some unfortunate souls, their carefully planted tree shows little or no sign of that long-awaited blossom. In this article, I describe some of the most common reasons for this situation and give some advice on what you can do.

The Tree Is Not Yet Old Enough To Blossom

So how long does it take for a tree to start showing flowering blossom? When a tree is little, it will spend all of its energy trying to establish and survive. Flowering shows that the tree is approaching maturity and ready to start breeding and so it will be a number of years before you can expect some flowers. This time can vary depending on species and the local environment, but perhaps it might take about 7 years to start flowering after planting. Your first blossom will be slightly disappointing but don't despair, it's the tree's first time and it will produce better and better blossom over the following years. So have a cup of tea, sit back and relax...there's some time to go yet.

The Weather Has Prevented Flowering This Year

Most blossom trees, particularly cherry trees, are sensitive to changes in the weather. If there were hard, early frosts in the previous autumn, then this can make it difficult to form strong buds. Long periods of dull, overcast weather during this period can add to the problem, which results in weak or non-existent blossom the following spring. Sometimes, the bud formation has been adequate during the autumn and the buds have formed well with enough rain in the late winter to allow the buds to swell, but when the blossom is just about to burst out in the spring a hard frost hits and kills the nascent flowers. Heavy rain at this time can also destroy your display. You just need to accept nature's cruel twist and hope for better luck next year. So have a cup of tea, sit back and relax...there's some time to go yet.

It Is Not Flowering Time Yet

Having seen lovely pictures of blossom, some people hope that they will be able to re-create this scene at any time of year. Here is a rough estimation of when these trees will show their blossom:
February: If spring arrives early enough, anything can be in blossom now, especially on the south coast.
March: Crab Apple, Cherry Plum, Wild Pear, Blackthorn
April: Wild Cherry, Bird Cherry, Hawthorn
May: If we have had a long winter, you might only be treated to a very short blossom before summer, especially in northern Britain.
So if you are getting frustrated in early spring, just have a cup of tea, sit back and relax...there's some time to go yet.

The Poor Tree Has A Disease

Oh dear! An Arboriculturalist might have to break the sad news to you that the only option is to dig up your tree and start again. You could try some of our gift trees: wild cherry, or go for a lovely cherry plum or characterful hawthorn. Plant again then have a cup of tea, sit back and relax...there's some time to go yet. The wonderful cycle of life is starting again.

08 May 2013 at 17:27 / Comment

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