Each time I count how many apples there are on my tree it comes out at a different number. However, if we say there are up to forty that means it is nearly four-fold more than last year.
It has taken quite some time for the tree to produce a good crop but then the top soil is so thin. At the time I planted it (early 2011), I had no idea about banking up the soil to add depth. On the other hand, I doubt I will bank up for the next tree, which I hope to get this autumn.
The bottom line is that if a tree gains soil, something else will lose it. And even if it does take the tree longer to establish, there will be soil building going on underneath its branches. The strawberries are moving down the garden and over time their old leaves will add organic matter to the topsoil. I’ve already noticed how effective that has been at keeping moisture in the soil round the first tree, which must also be of benefit.