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gadgetvictim

Truth or Myth: A Rusty Nail Can Stimulate Fruit Production.

9 years ago

I want to throw the following out for some feedback, before trying it:

One of my neighbors informed me that his mandarin tree had not produced very many fruits for over six years, until one of his friends informed him that he should try driving a rusty nail into the tree trunk to stimulate the tree into producing more fruits. He said that after doing so, his was amazed when his tree produced a significant amount of fruits the following season.

I've heard similar recommendations given over the years for other none productive fruit trees. I understand, that there are other factors that could be causing the tree to not flower/fruit (e.g.; fertilization, watering, sunlight, etc.). However, all other factors or variables aside, I would like to know if anyone had tried this "rusty nail" approach, and if there's any science to back this approach into stimulating a citrus or any other types of fruit trees to better production (i.e. Is this a myth?).

Comments (65)

  • 6 years ago

    Gadgetvictum, your friend believes in fairy tails.

  • 6 years ago

    Even if beating the tree with a bat helped I could not imagine Johmurr beating everyone of his 30,000,000 trees. It just would be to time consuming.

  • 5 years ago

    My grandparents farmed and my father grew up farming. When I was growing up we didn’t farm however my father has always had a large garden that kept us in fresh fruit and vegetables. My husband and I have an avacado tree planted in our yard and for years it would produce around half dozen avacados. My father told us to hit the trunk with a baseball bat (we rolled our eyes at his suggestion) so we thought what have we got to lose. My husband swung the bat and we walked away laughing thinking my dad came up with this crazy idea. Well, in 2016 we had so many avacados that we were giving them to neighbors. 2018 we didn’t hit the trunk and did not have one avacado, not one. My husband has the baseball bat ready to go this year!

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    It probably is true, for the same reason that dwarfing rootstock makes a fruit tree more precocious. By inducing strain, it reduces growth and diverts more the tree's energy towards fruit production.

    That doesn't mean it is necessarily a good idea though. I would imagine it's probably not the best for the health of the tree in the long term.

    Sometimes when a formerly vigorous growing citrus tree is close to death it will also send out a lot of fruits.

    Also a rusty nail would be a direct injection of iron into the tree, if there was an iron deficiency.

  • 5 years ago

    following

  • 3 years ago

    Im from Guyana south america. Thats next door to brazil, Venezuela and Suriname. Since a young teen when we first move to the country side our neighbour told us about it. So I did it and finally the tree started to blossoms, it was a coconut tree. Today july 16 I just did they same thing again to my coconut tree in my own yard. But it works fantastic its strange. Science will not be able to answer why it works. But its supernatural. Trust me it works.

  • 3 years ago

    Seepaul Bienda. What did you do? You put nails on your tree?



  • 3 years ago

    I don't have any rusty nails. Can I use dry wall screws.

    Steve

  • 3 years ago

    This works, here In the Caribbean it’s a common practice, with bigger trees like Avocado and Mango.. once they have 2-4 years of growth and don’t blossom , we hammer a roofing nail in and sure enough they bloom and produce.
    It’s the stress that causes this to happen.

  • 3 years ago

    Caning okra also works to improve yield, just don't hit the stalks too hard so as to damage them. Just hard enough they "think" that they might be in danger (stress) and should devote more effort to reproduction, thus more okra. No nails. HA

  • 3 years ago

    My husband works in Ag for the 2nd largest carrot grower in the US. Trust me, he’s up on fertilizer and whatever else plants & trees need so we’re good on that plus I use my Miracle Grow lol. I just think it’s funny that before we hit the tree we might get one or two avocados but after hitting it, wham, we had too many. Last year nothing but I have noticed that right after the tree blooms and bees have pollenated, we always get March winds that seem to blow a lot of the blooms off. I always stress because I can see them on the ground in our backyard. So far this year we haven’t had so many winds and there are still a lot of blooms. Just funny the things you think are old wives tales that really have some truth to them.

  • 3 years ago

    Lol

  • 3 years ago

    Both of us hit the tree trunk this year without knowing the other did and we found 2 avocados on the tree yesterday. I knew my husband”s old golf clubs would come in handy for something. Don’t worry he has another set he golfs with lol.

  • 3 years ago

    Everything is not going to be "scientifically proven" by some research team. Science is the act of observing and has been going on for thousands and thousands of years, well before academia. Just because someone hasn't published a paper "proving" this works doesn't mean it doesn't work. This is called academic bias. There are many many secrets and techniques done by indigenous or even just regular old people that work and have yet to be done on some type of academic level to "prove" to all the snooty people it actually works. Part of the beauty of growing food is the journey learning what works and doesn't work for you on your land. I for one will be trying the bat and nail method for myself since we have opportunity to do so.

  • 3 years ago

    Because none of these "secrets and techniques" have been conducted under any sort of scientific trial, there is NO way to know if they are of any benefit.....or if it was some other factor altogether about which we are uniformed or unaware that resulted in the desired effect. At best, any of these folk theories are just guessing as to their impact. Ditto with things like companion planting.....more old wives' tales than science and very little actual substantiation.

  • 3 years ago

    Gardengal, this is exactly my point. It is academic bias to think that just because someone did not do a trial in academia and publish a paper that their info is unproven or a "myth". This means their eye witness account or own personal trial is not good enough. If that's the case we should ignore centuries of ancient knowledge that was passed down by word of mouth and eye witness accounts. The problem with academic bias is that there are many people who do not have the money necessary to conduct the so called credible research to satisfy the academic world which is why for profit corporations are always the first to market with "proven solutions". A corporation will turn around and instead of researching the effect of putting rusty nails around the base of a tree, they will create some iron based solution instead and conduct research on that because they can't patent and sell putting nails around a tree. This is how most medicine was invented. They took known folk remedies from plants and found a way to synthetically produce it so they could do the research, patent it, and sell it as a proven solution.


    This is why I said to just try it for yourself and see if it works, everything that is true is not published in books or papers.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    OH PLEASE, not this silly silly silly question again. It is time to grow up people.

  • 3 years ago

    It's like using superthrive, its not doing anything.

  • 3 years ago

    Reread my post. You - or those who have attempted this before you - have NO way of knowing if what they were doing actually caused that result or if it was some other factor you/they were disregarding or were even unaware of. You are only guessing that your "technique" worked when in fact it might have been something else entirely that achieved that result. That is what controlled experiments/scientific trials establish.....the actual cause, not ignorant guesswork!

    But if you want to operate under this delusion, that is your choice.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Anything that stresses the tree, and creates some mild limitation on uptake from the roots, can trigger fruit production.

    girdling is one example

    This is one of the main reasons fruit trees are often grown on rootstock, which has some dwarfing effect on the tree. It induces the tree to start producing fruit at an earlier point in its lifespan. By limiting growth, the trees energy is diverted towards fruit production.

    It is still not the best for the health of the tree in the long term.

  • 3 years ago

    Gardengal, Science is defined as:


    the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.


    The key words are here are observation and experiment. These two things do not have to be done in a lab or an academically controlled environment that publishes papers which you are alluding to. Long before there were papers and very expensive equipment to test things, people experimented and made observations. Most of the knowledge we have today came from thousands of years of these experiments and observations and we all benefit from it. You are academically biased and have ignored even people on this post who have said they have stressed the tree in these ways and it worked for them, which is also and experiment and observation. But if you want to wait around for the molecular atomic reason why it works than be my guest but like I said, if some company can't make money on its not high on the priority list for experiments.


    You seem angry, why not go hit your fruit tree with a bat and see if it fruits? If it doesn't at least you have relieved yourself and can come back here with some actual observations.

  • 3 years ago
    • OH PLEASE, not this silly silly silly question again. It is time to grow up people.
  • 3 years ago

    Silica, our conversation is not hurting you in any way. It’s just an observation to an old wives tale and if it doesn’t suit your topic of conversation for the day, you’re free to move on. Have a great afternoon.

  • 3 years ago

    OH PLEASE, not this silly silly silly question again. It is time to grow up people.

  • 3 years ago

    Without a control group, anyone's observations are basically useless. No one knows how much the tree would have produced if they had not nailed or smacked the tree. I had a peach tree a few years ago that produce a light crop one year, a heavy crop in year 2 and no fruit in year 3. If I would have smacked the tree in year 2, it would have appeared to have worked. Yet smacking might have reduced the amount of fruit the tree produced in year 2.


    Now if someone had 40 trees in a plot, and had someone else randomly smack ten of the trees, it would be a good test. If at the end of the year you could pick out the ten (or even 7 or 8) of the smacked trees based on production, it would be meaningful. But one tree with no control means nothing.


    A person can smoke for 90 years and never get lung cancer. Does not mean that smoking prevents lung cancer.



  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Silica, you did,t know we got all kind of members, excellent ones, very smart ones, very d... ones, very strange ones, pretty long lists. we allso have a numb nut.

    We got them all here, they periodically stop by. Aren,t we lucky! Love it here, Don,t you.

  • 2 years ago

    Lmao this whole convo is very entertaining. We had 2 apple trees. Had them for several years with minimal fruit. And then bam. One year we had tons and tons of apples. We made apple everything it was incredible. We were up to our waists in apples it was glorious. We had all the apples we could eat and we were giving them away. Next year... minimal apples, same the following year. Then we got a storm and lost one of the trees. Now we have one apple tree that hasn't given us a good apple crop in like 3 or 4 years.. while I'm not about to go hit it with a bat I am curious what was so different that one year and this conversation got my brain spinning. I am now off to do research on what I can do to make my apple tree more fruitful WITHOUT putting nails in it or hitting it with a bat.

  • 2 years ago

    I originally made a comment after the person with the nail and explained about my dad hitting the tree trunk with a bat. I thought it was funny and an old wives tale “Right dad, you want me to hit the tree with a bat to make it bear more avocados.” I know there is no science behind what he said except that he grew up farming, my husband is in farming and we laugh about it. As we were laughing the tree was dropping avacados like crazy. Everyone gettin their panties in a wad trying to out do everyone that they know how to research better than the others or they know more science than the others. None of us know why the tree had more fruit all of the sudden nor do I really care but damn, we have to be nice to one another. Nobody is better than the other person commenting whether they have more schooling or not, it.does.not.matter! If we can’t be civil and polite to one another then why in the hell are you here?

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Sgb, members are here to learn.. this is how facebook started, now it is full of b.s. This nail thing has very little merit. One or two stories that,s going viral.. ! Hear this over and over, not only here but onother forums, same old same old. It will surface again and again.

    So why in the ” HELL HELL” are you here? I am wondering that myself.

    Confucious said, quote: one good reply has more merit than a thousand no merit replies.

  • 2 years ago

    Lol


    Mike

  • 2 years ago

    Bob I’m here for the same reason you are. Nothing more nothing less.

  • 2 years ago

    Well clearly all these people commenting want the same thing, to learn how to get their tree to bear more fruit. So what would be helpful is if anyone had any advice or resources on what will make a tree more fruitful.

  • 2 years ago

    Sun, fertilizer, and water.

  • 2 years ago

    And to add to Ken's big 3 - disease resistance and suitability for location. And knowing how and when to prune to maximize fruit production.

  • 2 years ago

    First of all, when you bought a tree or you do your own grafting, you have to know wether the tree you bought or graft, the sionwood you use came from a fruit bearing tree, if not, you have wait many years before it start bearing fruit, as much as 9, 10 years.

    I grafted a pear tree 2 years ago, it fruited this year. I just told the tree when i was done, “Have at it”. 4 pears laying on the crotch of the older tree.

    Did,t have to beat this little tree.


  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Amanda Wilcox, there are likely a number of factors at play with your apples. Overbearing fruit in a particular year can weaken a tree and as a defensive response, the tree may set little or no fruit in the subsequent year. This pattern may repeat itself, setting up a cycle known as "alternate bearing". The cycle can be broken by thinning thumbnail sized fruits in the "on" years.

    If you only had 2 trees originally, you likely lost your pollinator when the one tree died. To correct this, an appropriate fertile pollinator could be planted to re-establish production.

    Be careful, however, as a few trees may be pollen sterile, or bloom too early, or late to be a good match for your surviving tree.


    The pollinator must be a different cultivar than your remaining tree. It should also not be a "sport" (mutation) of the same tree.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Does that tree even flower?


    If not something is wrong. If so, maybe a lack of bees? \Pollinators? Weather conditions?

  • 2 years ago

    I did read about the fact that we may have lost our pollinator. Honestly I'd kinda given up on the tree for apples but if all it really needs is another tree then that's something we'd definitely do. I mean the remaining tree We were very sad to lose one. I do have to admit that I've never pruned the tree before. It hasn't gotten much attention since we dont get anything but tiny apples anymore. There are already some little apples growing on the tree now, so I assume it flowered. I'm not sure if the fact that it doesnt have as many apples is an indicator that it needs another pollinator, or if the fact we have apples at all means we dont. Also we bought the two trees as babies and waited several years before we started getting apples.

  • 2 years ago

    Very sparse fruiting might indicate a neighborhood pollinator, being too distantly located to effectively pollinate your tree. Fruiting crabapples can be very strong pollinators, if flowering time matches. Some orchardists intentionally interplant select crabapples for this purpose.

  • 2 years ago

    I was just thinking about it, the next door neighbor has a few apple trees that are pretty nearby. I'm going to look into how to prune the tree for next season to see if that helps and look into possibly getting another tree.

  • 2 years ago

    Grokra, oh please spare us. Go somewhere else with your sarcasm.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Grokra, who gave you the permission to be so disrespectful toward others?

    Silica and Gardengal happen to be long time members here and very helpful. Very well respected in the community here. It might do you justice to show some respect, although you might be opinionated in your own line of reasoning and disagree with their words.

    Mike

  • 2 years ago

    🤦ridiculous. i will remove myself then. have fun in your circus🤙🏾

  • 2 years ago

    Ive done it a couple of times on oyr avocado tree,sometimes it blooms and looses its seeds. Yes it works.

  • last year

    It's Absolutely True. My mom tried it with her pair tree that hadn't bore fruit for 6 years. She drove a rusty nail in the trunk last year, and THIS year it's overflowing with pears. Unbelievable

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Old wives tale. There is NO scientific evidence to back this up.

  • last year

    ^^^ Agree 100%. This is an old gardening myth that fails to die. Generally because of those that insist it works even though there is no direct causal relationship :-) Nor any reason why a nail, rusty or otherwise, would produce that effect.

    Gardening is full of these myths, some actually harmful and some quite benign. This one is more or less benign. But still not true.

  • last year

    It is kind of wearing your lucky socks to the baseball game to give them good luck. May make you feel good but really has no bearing on the outcome.

  • 10 months ago

    So HU-335487372, you signed up with Houzz today and made this single post to claim that science is fake?? Anyone with half a brain knows better than that and if you have ever had to visit a doctor, you know that as well!! What a completely inane comment! Don't you have anything better to occupy your time with? If not, find something, as those sorts of comments are a waste of time and energy.

  • 10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    HU33487372 you have a habit of finding very old posts many times many years back. Please give us a break and let sleeping dogs lay.. Your comment "Of course it works" shows your lack of credibility.