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Bugs or Birds Eating Apple Blossoms!?

Posted by dmtaylor 5a (WI) (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 18:27

I was excited to have my first cluster of blossoms on my 4-year old Sweet 16 apple tree this spring. Just one cluster of 5 blossoms. However, before the blossoms even opened, last week all the petals and stamens and pistils mysteriously disappeared from 1 of the 5 blossoms. I figured, oh well, I still got 4 of them left -- must have bumped it or whatever. But then yesterday I noticed 2 more out of the remaining 4 also had no petals, nothing, just a gaping hole in the middle where all the flower parts should be. So now I'm thinking, okay, this is weird -- a bug or a bird must be destroying my blossoms!! My yard is fenced off, and additionally each individual tree is fenced off 5 feet high so I think it is unlikely that a squirrel or other rodent would be climbing up there to eat the blossoms. The leaves and twigs are all just fine. There is nothing near or above the tree that could have bumped the blossomes. And why only on this one tree? I see no signs of any problems at all whatsoever on my nearby Cortland tree that has hundreds of blossoms. Very strange. Anyone know of a bug or varmint that purposely eats or destroys blossoms?? I have never heard of this and I think it rather strange. The only other thing I can think of is maybe, just maybe, a gust of wind might be blowing the whole tree sideways into the fence around the tree, rubbing off some of the blossoms. But I don't know if that's possible -- I've never seen it bend that far. The tree is only 6 feet high, and the fence is about 4 feet diameter around it. I suppose it's possible. Just curious. Just to be safe, I bagged the last 2 blossoms to try to give them extra protection from whatever is causing this. When they open in a couple of days, I will remove the bags temporarily so I can pollinate them myself by carrying over some Cortland blossoms. I really want to get a couple of Sweet 16 apples this year!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bugs or Birds Eating Apple Blossoms!?

It's the birds:
The birds are eating your blossoms; I had this problem for many years--in some years, the birds ate more than 40% of the blossoms---, therefore, this year I decided to outsmart them. I used mylar foil as a reflective medium to scare the birds away...and it worked--they stopped eating my stone fruits blossoms.

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