How to Thin Apple Blossoms to Grow Bigger Apples


It takes 30 to 40 leaves on an apple tree to produce the food necessary to feed an apple and make it grow. Therefore, if you want your apples to grow large and well rounded, you cannot allow five or six apples to grow from each cluster of blossoms on every twig or branch. You can manually remove the smaller blossoms leaving the larger healthier blossom in the cluster to make the apple.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Scissors
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rag
  • Wipe down the blades of your scissors with rubbing alcohol. Tools can spread disease throughout trees.

  • Choose one or two branches on your apple tree to begin thinning blossoms and dive in. Without many helpers, you can't thin an entire tree in one day. Work on the tree over the course of several days.

  • Identify the biggest, healthiest looking blossom in each cluster. Leave that one and remove the other blossoms around it in each cluster of blossoms, snipping them with scissors or plucking them with your fingers.

  • Thin one group at a time, taking care not to damage the apple blossoms that you intend to leave.

  • Use a ladder, as needed, to reach blossom clusters.

Tips & Warnings

  • Even if you do not get around to removing all of the excess blossoms, removing a few should help your fruit grow bigger and better.
  • If you miss the blossoming stage, remove tiny apples as they develop, leaving only the largest in each cluster to develop. Dispose of the other apples in a compost pile, away from the tree.
  • Place the freshly removed blossoms in a bowl in your bathroom to add a light fragrance and their beauty for the day.
  • Never stand on the top rung of a ladder.
  • When working on the ladder it would be safer to have a person hold it for you.

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