‹ News Releases

Apple growers looking forward to “well-rested” trees

Contact: Diane Smith
(800) 456-2753

Michigan growers planning for 2013 apple season

DEWITT, Mich. – Michigan’s apple trees have the potential to produce a large crop for the 2013 season after an unexpected “rest” period due to the significant crop loss of 2012. After historic weather events in late winter and spring destroyed close to 90% of the state’s apple crop, orchards could see an increase in blooms and fruit production for the coming season. 

“After bloom, apple trees begin initiating fruit and shoot buds for the following year’s crop. While fruit is growing on the tree, buds for the following crop are already growing. This year, with so many trees not producing fruit, the nutrients absorbed by the trees can be allocated to the developing buds – especially those that have the potential to produce fruit.  Their emergence next year will hopefully provide growers with a sizeable crop,” said Amy Irish Brown, an Extension Educator with Michigan State University.

Fruit trees have a normal “balancing act” in which nutrients, photosynthates and other resources are allocated to the fruits, buds and leaves on the tree. A tree that has produced fewer fruits will be able devote more nutrients to the developing buds.

“Apple trees are pretty hearty and we’re not hearing anything of permanent damage due to the weather this spring,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee.  “We’re going to have well-rested trees, and generally when you have a well-rested tree it really performs the next year.  Barring any weather conditions we could definitely come into next year with a record setting crop.”

Michigan’s apple growers will be hoping for more “normal” weather conditions in 2013 to help foster more blooms. In addition, growers have been working to maintain their apple trees with their usual fertilizing, pruning and pest and disease management practices throughout the summer.

“Our apple growers are working hard to maintain their orchards and prepare for a successful 2013,” said Smith. “We are keeping our fingers crossed for rain and good growing conditions throughout the coming year.”

Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world.  For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.