The biological process of producing fruit is a true perennial cycle. Flower buds begin to form in the spring and summer, continuing their development through the fall, and then open the following spring to produce the flowers and fruit. Therefore, fruit is developing in the current season at the same time as flower buds are forming for the following harvest. This means that management of the tree affects both this year’s and next year’s crops.
Fruit set refers to the process where a flower makes the transition to a developing fruit. Fruit set in tree fruits requires compatible pollen, an agent to transfer pollen (usually bees), pollen germination and growth of the germ tube through the style, and fertilization of the egg and formation of endosperm from both parents.