Missing apples

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Missing apples

Postby jan19 » 17 Nov 2012, 1:37pm

I have a little mystery, and I wonder if anyone has a solution....

I have three apple trees in my garden. This year, two didn't fruit, but the third did, in abundance.

Over the last few weeks, I have been gradually picking the apples. I usually wait until they've fallen, then take the perfect ones. Some windfalls get composted, but I always make sure some are left on the ground for the blackbirds and thrushes.

Last weekend I picked up the fallen ones, and also took a number from the tree. There were still plenty left. I've been away most of the week, and this morning decided to bring the rest in.

When I went up the garden (you can't see the tree from the house) there was nothing. Nada. Nul points. No apples on the tree, and no windfalls. I am baffled. I can't think there was human intervention - the only people who could get into the garden are my neighbours, and not only do I think this unlikely but why would they take half-eaten windfalls? If its an animal, why is there normally bits of half-eaten apples left while today its absolutely cleared.

Our local animal population is normal suburban- birds, squirrels, and foxes. We don't have deer, wild rabbits, or to my knowledge badgers. So where on earth have these apples gone?

Jan :? :? :?

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Re: Missing apples

Postby meic » 17 Nov 2012, 1:45pm

Squirrels certainly eat apples and they will take them away to do so.

Like you with the fruit on the trees, all my eating apples failed completely but I did have a small crop of Bramleys. I put this down to the fact that they harvest much later and so probably pollinate much later and by the time they did so, some pollinators had arrived on the scene to do the job unlike for the other apples.

I suspect that the squirrels have always been harvesting the apples alongside you but on previous years the apples were abundant enough for you (and I) not to notice.
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Re: Missing apples

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Nov 2012, 2:34pm

I hope it's not young scrumpers, risking disqualification from a certain sinecure in their later years.


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Re: Missing apples

Postby gaz » 17 Nov 2012, 3:47pm

Freak weather phenomena? What goes up .... http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/un ... 21738.html

jan19 wrote:So where on earth have these apples gone?

Or perhaps alien apple abduction. The truth is out there! :shock:
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Re: Missing apples

Postby pete75 » 17 Nov 2012, 4:08pm

Rats will eat apples, are greedy and can climb trees to get to them.

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Re: Missing apples

Postby easyroller » 17 Nov 2012, 4:33pm

Squirells quickly stripped bare both my apple trees this season... :x

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Re: Missing apples

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Nov 2012, 4:34pm

I saw a rat up one of my big bushes earlier this year trying to inspect a bird box. We've no berries on our pyracantha etc they would normally be a blaze of yellow and orange around now.

It has been remarkably wet. We can't be far of having herons instead of our usual garden birds.

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Re: Missing apples

Postby jan19 » 17 Nov 2012, 5:36pm

I doubt its squirrels - we always have a couple in the garden, and they've always left the windfalls. This time, there's nothing.

Rats are an interesting (if not particularly appealing) idea. I have seen them in the garden, although very rarely. I think my two young cats might be interested in rats too.


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Re: Missing apples

Postby 531colin » 17 Nov 2012, 5:36pm

The birds stripped the berries off my mountain ash long ago, there are a few left on the hawthorn and cotoneaster.
I have 2 pyrecantha bushes, one a cutting from the other.....the berry crop failed on the larger bush, the smaller one is covered....I think pyrecantha don't taste nice, they are always the last berries to go, the fieldfares even get some.
The real mystery is the pampas grass..middle of November, it still hasn't flowered this year, although the shoots are poised.......its always late, but that means the plumes are in fine fettle still in the spring, when the sparrows (not the most gymnastic of birds) turn themselver inside-out to harvest the tickly bits to line their nests....if it doesn't flower at all, I shall be denied some free entertainment, unless I tie up some cotton wool for the sparrows.....

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Re: Missing apples

Postby cycleruk » 17 Nov 2012, 7:32pm

Two apple trees we get windfalls from. (on the way home from bike rides.) . One loaded and the other nothing. :?
Theory is that the "nothing" one had its blossom burned off with the high spring winds as it's on an open corner. The other "abundant" one is in a well protected area.
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Re: Missing apples

Postby pete75 » 18 Nov 2012, 12:40am

Stuff we've had in our garden doing damage are deer mainly. I'm sure smaller stuff like badgers, rabbits and rats may have done some harm but if they have not noticed so it hardly matters.
Incidentally even a small dog is a threat to deer. One of of my jack russells killed a muntjac just before harvest. Not a pretty thing to watch , dogs kill larger prey by eating.

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Re: Missing apples

Postby Paulatic » 24 Jun 2020, 3:32pm

Thread resurrection

I’ve four Apple trees different ages different varieties. I went to see them last night armed with secateurs to thin the number of apples down.
Nothing I couldn’t find a single apple I’ve had bad years when there’s only been a few but never none at all.
All I can think of is it because of the super dry spring we had. There was plenty of blossom in spring but no fruit :(
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Re: Missing apples

Postby rjb » 24 Jun 2020, 4:05pm

I had an apple tree stripped by a squirrel. Perhaps he mistook them for nuts :lol:
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Re: Missing apples

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 Jun 2020, 5:13pm

Feasting on cherries now, I have been noting locations of apple, pear, plum trees for later
Some years some trees bear little fruit, not sure why. Best to have several different sorts, then usually one should get plenty
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Re: Missing apples

Postby kwackers » 24 Jun 2020, 5:42pm

In my very limited experience, fruit trees do best after a hard pruning.
I think the stress jolts them into producing lots of offspring to take their place.

This year my fairly crap apple tree is covered - it's been crap every year but at the end of last year I chopped nearly half of it away.