Apple Trees and Frost Pockets


New Member
Hey Guys, We have a small 13 acre, wooded parcel in Michigan. 7 years ago, we planted two Granny Smith, two Winesap and two McIntosh Apple trees in 1/2 acre food plot that we cleared out in the woods. During this time, we haven't seen one apple on the trees. After doing much research and talking with you guys on the older qdma site, I'm thinking that a Frost Pocket hanging over this plot is killing the apple blooms. I don't have a pic for you, but the trees are in excellent shape with the base of the trees being 10" around and 10ft tall. They get full sun, but for only 5-6 hours a day.

We're not sure what to do with the trees. We were thinking of replacing these with some Crabapple or Pear Trees but don't want to waste money with the same Frost Pocket results. What do you guys think? Give it one more year, replace with different fruit trees or no fruit trees? Thanks for any ideas.
You need to know whether you are getting blossoms at all. Once you know that you can make a better plan going forward.
Agree 100%. First determine that you are actually getting blossoms. If yes and no fruit, then are different varieties blooming at the same time? This is needed.
Next, can you be sure that low temps in that spot are lower than the surrounding area?
Guess i am saying to get facts before ripping healthy trees out of the ground. Pears wont serve you any better in a frost pocket. Crabapples maybe......
I don't live near the property, so I'm not sure about blooms this year. I do know for a fact, we did get blooms on the trees last Spring. Maybe I'll have to put up a deer cam near the trees to see if and when they bloom. Thanks for the replies.
Yep, trail cam. With a corn pile so deer will be setting off the camera when the trees are blooming. I have trees in frost pockets that I did inadvertently but even those produce a few apples every year.
What signs lead you go believe your in a frost pocket? Your ground lower than surrounding area? Bottom of a hill or ridge.
Winesap is also a triploid variety. The Granny Smith and McIntosh have to pollinate the winesap but the winesap can't pollinate them. I would try to find out if they all are blooming around the same time if not you might consider topworking some varieties on to aid with pollination. If you are really confident that it's a frost maybe direct seed some persimmons this fall to prepare for the worst case and have replacements. Persimmons would allow fruit drop almost any time you would want and bloom late in the year. If you start getting apple crops the persimmons could be dropped if not you would be a little ahead.
I didn't realize I was in a frost pocket until I started hunting a few miles away. I have seen a temp difference of 12 degrees on the 10 minute drive. I am close to the river so I guess it draws down all the cold air. Elevation is 400' lower than the where I am hunting.