If your fruit tree isn’t fruiting, it might need a good scare to get started!
I shared the story of Eddy and how he threatened his avocado seedling some years ago – getting it to fruit!
I repeated the story in my popular presentation 21 Amazing Trees You Can Grow from Seed.
In a recent comment below that video, Felicity writes:
“That’s a crazy story about your friend in Puerto Rico, about 10 years ago I heard a similar story. I think it’s an Arabia/Middle East region method, they have this custom where if a tree will not produce fruit, they threaten it. You are supposed to go up to the tree with a friend, and talk about how angry you are that the tree will not produce fruit, and how you are going to cut it down. You bring along a knife or some other sharp object with you, and as you tell your friend that you are going to cut the tree down because it does not give you any fruit, you begin to stab at the tree. Your friend stops you and says no, do not kill the tree, give it a chance and see if it produces fruit this next season before you cut it down. They said if you do this, the tree will always produce a nice crop of fruit the next season. I actually did this with my friend on a tree that’s in his yard that wasn’t producing, I think it actually worked.”
That story reminds me of the parable in Luke 13:6-9.
“(Jesus) also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”
Here’s another thought: maybe sometimes we need some pressure or a threat in our life before we bear fruit.
How hard do things have to get before we produce something good for our Master?
Just a thought.
As for the trees, I do think there is a certain connection between us and the plant world, just as there is between man and the animals. Though our plants respond on a much slower scale than do our pets and livestock, I do think they respond. To care, to words, to our presence. Maybe showing a little disapproval gives them a kick in the tail. Or maybe it’s all nuts.
Still, I like the idea. “Fruit, sucka, or Ima gonna cut you!” I want it to be true.
Anyone else tried threatening a tree to make it fruit?
I don’t believe I’ve ever threatened a tree with physical violence.
I gave my mahonia a serious prune because it was unproductive and taking up too much space. Told it that year was its last year if it didn’t produce. I’ve got 7-10lb of fruit a year since then.
YES! Great testimony! It works!
Lol I actually believe plants are sentient to an extent. I also believe in doing no harm without need or consent. So I’m not threatening kinda person.
I will be doing something in the morning to my sour Orange tree that was planted over 12 years ago from seed. I have pruned it a couple of times I’ve fertilized it for the last three years regularly but still nothing. I took a gardening class on citrus nothing, I spoke to a fourth generation citrus Gardner he said don’t cut it down because sour Orange root stock is strong and it’s used to graft lots of other citrus trees in the commercial citrus selling world so now I have to choices cut it completely down or extreme prune like I did to my 30 year old Avocado tree who everyone said it was dead and never going to produce fruit. The avocado is growing well and I hope to get fruit growing next season. So when should I extreme prune now in Florida I’m in zone 10a or wait till spring..
Pruning citrus is likely to keep them from blooming – I would just leave it alone and see what happens.
Ok that settles it, I’m gonna give my 3-year-old potted passionfruit vines a stern talking-to and allow myself to be convinced to give them one more year to fruit. Not technically trees but still worth a try. Of course it might just not like the pot…but not much I can do about that in zone 5-6.