Thinning is a necessary step to grow marketable apples. It takes place after Mother Nature does her “June Drop”. It is done to help balance the crop load. This helps to produce good fruit size, as well as ensuring the tree remains healthy enough to produce blossoms for the next year.
There are two types of methods that can be used for hand thinning. The hand method and the disc method. When using the disc method for thinning it helps to determine the number of fruitlets to leave on each tree limb. When deciding what fruitlets to remove you firstly remove injured or damaged fruit, followed by small fruit and finally by breaking up clusters of fruit. It is preferable to keep the king bloom, but you’re not always able to. By removing a good number of fruitlets you ensure a healthier crop this year and the potential of one for the next year.