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Uploaded on Jun 1, 2008
Many apples varieties will set more fruitlets than can usefully come to maturity. Some varieties, such as Sunset (seen here) Spartan and Winter King (Winston) do this regularly. Thinning, by removal of surplus fruit, is necessary to get a crop of decent sized apples. If a tree needs thinning but does not get it, it will become exhausted since the pips take up more energy and protein than the flesh of the apple, so it 'costs' the tree more to produce 200 apple weighting 15kg than hte same 15kg from say 80 fruits. Larger fruits also store and sell better. Overcropping with vast numbers of small fruits may lead to no crop at all the next year (biennial cropping).
Stephen Hayes of Fruitwise Heritage Apples thins a branch of Sunset apple on 1st June 2008 reducing the number of apples from 40 to about 18.