We planted an orchard of 27 trees, 5 years ago with a variety of native old Irish varieties native to the West of Ireland sourced from the Irish seed savers. The trees look well have plenty of leaves, have been pruned and fed, however apart from a small number of tiny apples on two of the trees, we would have expected to have apples by now. Last year in an effort to aid pollination we got two bee hives. Some leaves have brown marks on them, but reading other posts this appears to be wind scorching similar to marks on a lot of other trees in our garden. Are we doing something incorrect and is there anything we could do to encourage fruit next year? Also can you recommend a book for the back yard Irish orchard, any books we have found all refer to the UK and not specifically to Ireland and our unique climate?
Also too much vigorous grass. Control a circle or strip of grass 2 metres in diameter. This should be permanently free of grass, untilt he trees are mature, and even then in the west.
Apply potash in spring, 50 g per square metre to the spread of the branches of sulphate of potash.
Condtions for apples are more challenging in the west and cropping will be less and more erratic than on better soils and conditions.