Friday, April 1, 2011

“A” is for Apple Trees

I am engaging in a writing challenge that kicks off today known as the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, which you can sign up for here. So today’s blog post is about apple trees.

I have an aunt who lives in Michigan and every year she would send us bushels of “farm apples.” These were smallish, green and imperfect fruits that came from ancient trees on her 80-acre farm. And every fall we would eat the apples until we could stand them no more and then turn the rest into applesauce or apple pie filling to be used later on.

I have always loved the idea of a huge, old apple tree. They are not very common today. Even commercial growers don’t plant the varieties that develop into towering giants because they are difficult to case for and harvest from. Most of today’s apple varieties ae sold as dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties and that is not all bad.

When I considered buying some apple trees for my home, my first thought was how much my youngest son would enjoy climbing in that tree. Certainly he will help pick the apples I can’t reach as the tree matures. He is 13. By the time the tree reaches full maturity, he will long since have moved out and on with his life.

As the reality of this set in, I soon realized my husband and I would be left to pick our own apples in a few years and my tree-climbing days are well behind me. So dwarf trees it is. While I love many different types of apples, I chose Granny Smith and Red Delicious both for their taste, their versatility in use and for the Granny Smith’s ability to store well for months. I can’t wait to see how wonderful apples taste that I grew and stored myself.

My 1-year-old trees were planted last year and all three are beginning to break out in leaf. One looks as though it may not be doing too well and this will require some investigation on my part to determine the cause. I’ll let you know what I find out.

While my trees will never be those glorious giants I once dreamed of, I am anxious to see them reach their full potential. If you do have the luxury of an older apple tree, there are some care tips I can share with you here.


alberta ross said...

a is indeed for apple - I wrote about it also - I love those old giants - I grow older and have small fruit trees now but I can remember those I climbed as a child with great affection.

Home grown apples taste amazing Best of luck with the rest of the alphabet.