Monday, July 30, 2012

Apple Trees

When Tanya moved to Ukraine from Siberia about 25 years ago she was so in love with the idea of growing fruit that she planted 30 fruit trees in her yard, half of them apple trees.  Sort of like my mother with her zucchini but Tanya didn't have any cows to come to her rescue.  We have been cutting them down ever since and have more to go.

Never a big fan of apples, having consumed some 2400 from my school lunch box over a 12 year period, I like them even less when they are windfall.  We raked and hand picked two wheelbarrow loads tonight and will continue from now to snow fall.  We use maybe one wheelbarrow load of non-windfall ourselves for eating and for juice.

We have these two huge trees and three or four little ones.  Oh, yes, and our new "Pear tree" planted four years ago has apples growing on it.  Thank God our apple trees only bear apples every two years which I never knew before, having never had an apple tree, so we only have a mess every second year.  One of the big trees will come down this fall and two of the  smaller ones.  One of them is almost dead from last winter anyhow so no loss.

Now I don't like cutting trees down.  They take a long time to grow.  I just wish they were anything but fruit trees.  We have planted a birch in the front yard and have a couple of spruce growing in the side flower bed.  We will sit under them for our 25th wedding anniversary.

Tanya loves trees, too and when she worked for the Raion Agriculture Department many years ago was responsible for planting hundreds of trees along the roadsides, including many fruit trees, which are available to anyone to pick.  In spring the roadsides are lovely with blossoms and in fall no one is bothered by the fallen fruit.

Tanya thinks if every person in the  world could plant just one tree every year that we could re-green the earth.  I like the idea. Just not apple my yard.

Two giant apple trees (pictures all from 2010)



Diane Henders said...

I am a complete sucker for any type of fruit-producing plant. In my back yard, I have one regular apple tree, one crabapple tree, a nanking cherry bush, haskaps, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes. And a hazelnut bush (which has never produced, grrr). Calgary's climate doesn't support my addiction, but it doesn't stop me from trying.

Problem is, I'm incapable of wasting the fruit. Having 30 apple trees in my back yard would be the subtlest torture imaginable: I'd have to do something with every... last... bit... of the fruit. You have my sincere sympathy.

The Blog Fodder said...

The only thing I can think of is to set up a still and make hard apple cider. We used to haul them to the neighbour to feed his cow but Victor passed away last winter and his widow doesn't have cattle anymore.

Diane Henders said...

I make hard cider with mine. It's a dirty, thankless job, but somebody has to do it (and drink it). :-)

Lorraina said...

Apples are my #1 fav food and i could eat them all day everyday. 30 apple trees.....omgosh.....i would eat them all, no applesauce, no juice, no pies or cider, just pick and eat as is. Apples are one of the worlds most wonderful things and i never get enough. Are they all different varieties? When can i come?

Kulkuri said...

We have an orchard with a dozen or so apple trees and a zillion wild apple trees scattered around the place.

But we've never had any luck planting fruit trees. They either die or barely survive and don't do anything or grow very much. We've tried several varieties of apple and a pear. One apple tree is still alive, but isn't any bigger than when it was planted several years ago.

Ol'Buzzard said...

I like that: one tree per person every year. I am starting late, but tell Tanya I will be one of her tree planters.
the Ol'Buzzard

The Blog Fodder said...

Lorraina, you are welcome to come and get 20 or 30 wheelbarrow loads of apples any time you want to pick them.

Kulkuri, is it climate or soil type?

Ol'Buzzard, thank you.

Nan said...

The apple tree I'd like to have on our place is a true American crab apple. Not an ornamental, an honest-to-god fruit bearing crab apple. They are surprisingly hard to find even though from what I can remember of my long ago childhood, back in the 1950s and 60s every farm seemed to have at least one.

We get rid of our surplus apples here by hauling wheelbarrow loads out of the orchard and just dumping them on the edge of the woods for deer and other critters to eat. Between the old orchard and the numerous wild trees, we almost always end up with a lot more apples than we can ever hope to use ourselves. This year might be an exception, though. A super warm Spring tricked the trees into blooming early and then we got hit by a hard frost followed by an extremely dry June. End result? Lots of trees without a single apple on them.

The Blog Fodder said...

Nan, I love canned crab apples and crab apple jelly is better than anything especially with roast pork. I didn't know that they were getting scarce. That is too bad. Another victim of "progress".

Kulkuri said...

My guess is soil type. Mostly sand and gravel.