Two year fruit cycle


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For most of my adult life I’ve believed that fruit (and nuts, for that matter) are on multi-year cycles. I know that in my family’s case, our apple trees only produce heavily every other year, and seemingly on the odd numbered years at that. Is this simple confirmation bias on my part, or is it a biological fact? I know just recently my hazelnuts went from producing @ a bushel of unhusked nuts in ‘17 to hardly having a bloom this year. Spring weather conditions were cooler, which might be a cause. Am I conflating weather variations with some deeper natural cycle going on?

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I’ve always thought it was mainly determined by weather, but it would make sense that after a tree put so much energy into making a heavy crop one year, it wouldn’t have as much energy left for the next year. And vice versa, if a tree gets a late hard frost and no apples are produced that year, maybe there’s more energy leftover for the next year. Just my thoughts

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That’s a real possibility. Following the drought summer of 2012, 2013 was the biggest apple crop in memory. My wife’s aunt and uncle, who press cider apples every fall, had almost double the output in 2013.

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I know some varieties are more prone to biannual bearing than others. You can prevent this somewhat with fruit thinning.
Nut trees have always seemed more prone to biannual bearing that fruit trees to me, but maybe this is because I have a lot less exposure to fruit trees. Anybody else think that?
As Neahawg stated some apple trees are more prone to biannual bearing than others. I am familiar with that because many of the trees on this property come from Baldwin Apple trees which are known to lean towards biannual fruiting. It is not a problem for us as not all trees here are Baldwin and those that are can be on different schedules of bearing fruit so statistically 1/2 of the Baldwins are at peak production each year if weather and/or disease does not intervene.

And then there are the off years and bonus years for all varieties prompted by diseases, early cold winters, prolonged cold winters, cold springs, drought years, perfect weather years, etc.