Per University of North Carolina Extension, woody plants may abort fruit that was set in dry soil. Remember back to last June! There was a two to three-week period of very high temperatures and no rain. The soil was definitely dried-out as we finished our spring planting season. In fact, we delayed finishing one planting until fall due to the extreme conditions.
Also, if you just planted two to three years ago, the fruit may continue to abort or avoid setting in this time frame while a good root system establishes.
So, patience is needed! And in the meantime, we all need to be sure to provide adequate moisture throughout the establishment period. We at PBOG have also had success scratching in Humates, a granular conglomeration of micronutrients, to jump-start bloom and fruit on young woody material. This practice is best done in the fall.
Remember also that birds come to feed on these berries at various points during the late fall and winter. Usually, the fruits need to go through several freezing and thawing periods until they are palatable to birds. If you notice that your berries are suddenly gone, it may mean that bluebirds, robins, or cedar waxwings have been dining. Some experts are now advising us to plant shrubs to feed the birds and not to bother with winter bird feeders.