June Drop


Only the strongest survive!

Do the last thinning on deciduous fruit trees after June drop has occurred. June drop is nature’s way of getting rid of an overload of fruit. It may occur any time between early May and July but is most likely to happen around the first of June. One day you visit your apple, peach, or apricot tree and find a circle of immature fruit lying on the ground under the branches. These trees often set more than double the amount of fruit they could possibly ripen properly, so they simply drop off part of it.

If you thinned out the fruit on your trees in April and again four to six weeks later, you enabled the remaining fruit to grow larger, and thus less fruit will drop off now. Nevertheless, you may need to remove even more fruit than naturally drops in order to space your crop evenly down the branches. Inspect other deciduous fruit trees that are less subject to June drop–plums, for instance–and thin out their fruits also.

Clean up the fallen fruit under the tree before it has time to rot and spread disease. If it’s healthy, chop it and add it to the compost pile (cover it with earth against flies and rodents). Also water deciduous fruit trees well in June and July.

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