How To Get Fruit Trees To Blossom & Produce Fruit

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What to Do To Get Fruit Trees to Blossom and Produce FruitLet me start off by saying hubby and I planted a fruit orchard about 5 years ago on our property and for the last 5 years I’ve had the trees staked, taken measures so the deer won’t eat them, pruned them, and fertilized them with stakes in the spring and fall faithfully.

That all sounds good, right? It seems like it’s about time for those trees to start rewarding me with some fruit, but I’ve never had a blossom. Nothing in the 5 years we’ve had them. I did do a little research, Google of course, and yep sure enough after 5 years the trees should be producing fruit, and blossoming long before that.

What to Do To Get Fruit Trees to Blossom and Produce FruitSo I said to my hubby if those trees don’t blossom this year I’m pulling them out, I don’t need the extra work. Now if I’d planted them for ornamental reasons that would be another story but I didn’t. My full intention for them was to produce pesticide free fruit for my family to eat. Hubby agreed with me that they would be cut down if nothing happened this year.

I was at Grama Reds house helping my cousin prune the apple trees on the farm, he’s a horticulturist, so I decided to pick his brain a little. I told him about my non-producing fruit trees and asked him if I should just give up and cut them down. Well you will never guess what he told me to do…..any guesses?

What to Do To Get Fruit Trees to Blossom and Produce FruitHe told me he had the same issue with a peach tree and was talking to an old farmer about it. The farmer said use a 2X4, on the wide side, and beat the tree about 20 times all the way around the base of the truck. Hit it hard but not hard enough to break the truck. Apparently the tree thinks it dying and goes into survival mode by shocking itself, and in turn it will blossom and produce fruit from here forward. He says you only need to do it once in it’s lifetime and the tree will start to produce.

What to Do To Get Fruit Trees to Blossom and Produce FruitWell who the heck ever came up with that idea I’ll never know but those old timers always seem to know what to do so I gave it a go. Luckily we have no neighbors to see me out beating my trees (I don’t want to get turned in for tree abuse, lol). I’m sure it was a sight, and looked quite foolish. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this works, if not the trees are going.

So tell me have you ever heard of this and if so have you tried it with success? I can’t wait to hear, and if you have another method that’s worked for you tell me about it in the comment section below, I’m always up for learning something new.







  1. Cheryl Major says

    We had planted apple trees at our other house about 20 years ago. They bloomed from the beginning and it was when they were about 3-5 years old that they started getting apples, not a lot mine you, just a couple on each tree. The only thing that I was ever told was to have more than one tree to attract bees to pollenate the blooms., and to make sure they were in a sunny location . But we found that they were slow growing and when we sold the house, the guy that bought the house cut all 7 trees down as he did not want to worry about them. We would plant some at this house but our land is too rocky and we are surrounded by bush with very little sunny locations.

    • says

      Cheryl I have the recommended amount of trees for cross pollination but we had a really hard winter the first year we put them in and my cousin thinks that’s what set them back into a dormant stage and they can’t seem to come out of it. IF notihng happnes this spring they are going for sure.

  2. says

    Wow…what an interesting piece of advice!…but you know those old farmers know… I hope you get some great fruit this year!!! I wonder if I beat my hydrangeas, they will bloom?…..but I think my neighbors will wonder why I am out there beating this poor bush with a broom!!!

    • says

      Shirley ha ha, I say if it isn’t blooming go for it and who cares what the neighbor thinks but he may turn you into the HOA!!

  3. says

    I have never heard of beating an apple tree, but hey if the old timer said to do it, he is probably speaking from experience. We planted apple and pear trees 3 years ago…got 7 apples from one of them last year and I was soooo excited. Good luck.

    • says

      Lori you are so lucky I hope this method works! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. Debbie says

    I have also been told by a male working at a nursery to do the same thing for lilacs and hydrangeas. He said to use a garden hose.

    • says

      Debbie the garden hose makes sense on those type of plants. Thanks for the tip and glad you’ve heard of it too:)

  5. Melissa says

    Lol.. Mental picture of you hitting the tree. Hope it works. I’ve had a pear tree for about 16 or more years and it took years to produce. It was a dwarf self pollinating tree. . It’s not very small though. Last year I finally canned some pears and we make a alot of zucchini pear bread. I don’t think I could handle 5 or more We also have a garden and we can the veggies. I sure hope it works for you Dawn. Keep us posted.

    • says

      Melissa, Im sure I was quite a sight. I’ve never heard of zucchini pear bread, do you mind sharing the recipe?

    • Melissa says

      Dawn, I sent it in your email.

      • says

        Melissa, thank you so much I can’t wait to give it a try 🙂

  6. says

    Oh my gosh, Dawn! I’m getting a mental picture of you beating your trees!!! But the ole’ timers know a whole lot more than we give them credit for knowing, that’s for sure! It will be so interesting to see what happens as a result. We planted two plum trees shortly after moving here and they have blossomed and produced fruit each year since. We do have one peach tree that blooms and produces fruit but it hardens quickly and falls off the tree. Not sure what’s up with that but I probably need to consult with some local growers to get some advice.

    • says

      Jane I was hoping Leo had heard of this method. I think our main problem was we planted then had an ice storm in the spring. My cousin says that send them into a dormant type stage and it keeps up for life if they’re not shocked. We’ll see, if it ever stops snowing here long enough for them to bloom.

  7. Christine says

    What time of the year do you hit the tree base?

    • says

      Christine before they leaf out and it’s still cold so here in Michigan we do it in March, after the snow has gone but the tree is still dormant. Also the same time you would trim a fruit tree.

  8. Arlene says

    Well – never head of that one! Interesting! We have a few apple trees and have spent oodles of money on them for organic sprays, fertilizers, etc. and did faithful sprayings at recommended times as well as hanging weird mixtures in gallon jugs to catch bugs. Did all the stuff on the internet to avoid chemicals and all we ever got for our efforts were lots of wormy apples. Much cheaper to go to the local orchard and pick a few bushel of perfectly huge apples. So we gave up.

    • says

      Arlene Im ready to give up if we don’t see any blossoms this year. What a pain to do all that work and not get anything in return.

  9. Sue says

    I had actually heard of this before. My grandmother told me she used to beat her fruit tree trunks with a broom! I thought it strange but my hubby actually beats ours every year….just in case!

    • says

      Sue I love the old timer ways they have so much great knowledge, and I’m always thankful when they share it.

  10. says

    When we looked for land to build our house I prayed for land with fruit trees. Not an easy find, but God provided. We have about 30 apple trees and 4 pear trees. I not only made apple sauce, pie, cobbler, apple butter & fruit leathers, but this year I made Apple Juice and and Apple Cider. I’m in love! But I may try this method on a peach tree I planted that won’t blossom. Thanks for the info

    • says

      Roni all your apple things sound wonderful and yummy. I couldn’t believe that beating a tree would actually work but it did and we had fruit this year.

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