Thursday, October 29, 2009

WANTED: Apple Tree

We live in the land of Johnny Appleseed. To our east, not far from here, is Defiance, where he established one of his nurseries on the north bank of the Maumee River. Most of the early apple orchards in our county (Paulding) were started with seedlings from that nursery. Just a short distance west of us, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, lie his remains.

I've always thought that it was cool to think about, that this American icon once walked where I walk today, spreading seeds as he went. And it is an interesting thought, but I learned something last night, while watching The Botany of Desire on PBS. The trees he planted by seed were largely inedible as a snack. Good for cider, though.

When we moved to our house here at Our Little Acre in 1977, my parents bought two apple trees for us to plant. They were both 'Red Delicious,' which I recently learned is probably the best kind to plant here, as they are most resistant to cedar-apple rust.

Those two trees have given us many apples over the last 32 years.
One of the trees has always been smaller than the other and has produced less fruit. In recent years, it's declined in health and we've gotten very few apples from it. About two years ago, the tree began to lean considerably and we had to prop it to keep it from falling over altogether. Finally, we decided the time had come to cut it down and plant a new one.

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day and I suggested to Romie that we take care of the ailing apple tree. No chain saw or axe was necessary. Because we'd had plenty of rain recently, the ground was pretty soft. All it took was a good hard shove and the tree fell over as the roots gave no resistance.

Those roots held the key as to why the tree was both not producing much fruit and could not stand up straight. They were shallow and rotting.

We want to plant another apple tree and would like to have 'Golden Delicious.' However, it is one of the varieties that is highly susceptible to cedar-apple rust, which is common around here. The search is on for a suitable replacement.


Debra Howard said...

I seem to have a similar problem here. My fruit trees turn brown and then die. Have some of my other bushes and trees. Hope you can figure out a good variety.

James David said...

Good luck in your new apple tree!
Hope it bear delicious friuts!

Anonymous said...

We have so many varieties of apple trees, some are better than other, but the best thing about them is that they are ripening in different time of year, so we have apples from June to November.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Amazing that Romie could just push that tree over and take it out. I wonder what caused the root rot? Good luck on your apple quest.

Dave@The Home Garden said...

4-5 apple trees are on my list. I haven't decided what varieties to use but this winter I want to plant a few. We love the Gala apples to eat but I don't know how resistant to the rust they are.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Hi Kylee, One of the best places to look for apple trees is Stark-- They have some heirloom apples and out of the ordinary apples. One thing you have to remember is the pollinating aspect.... some varieties need certain others to cross pollinate.

Unknown said...

Wow, those roots don't look good at all. I have 8 different varieties of apple trees in my yard so I could have different ripening times mostly. Mine include cortland, macintosh, granny smith, braeburne, state fair, sweet sixteen, and two others that I can't think of right now. Good luck with your search!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

We have one 5 way grafted apple tree. While it produces lots of good apples, it just doesn't have the same look of a regular one variety type of tree. Have fun finding a new one. I hope you have one in time to enjoy its flowers in the spring.

Unknown said...

Bummer about the tree. I know of a man who hunts down the nations heirloom apples. He has personaly identified around 750 varieties. His site is I think it is a neat resource for you to use plus you can write him and ask questions if you have any.

Kylee Baumle said...

texasdaisey ~ Debbie, that must be frustrating for you! We don't have that kind of problem. This tree was 32 years old and its mate is doing just fine. Why its roots rotted, we don't know, but sometimes trees just do weird things.

James ~ Thank you! Not sure what we'll end up with!

vrtlarica ~ Apples are amazing and we hope to find just the right variety!

Lisa ~ We aren't sure why it rotted either, Lisa. We weren't really surprised that he could push it over, since it moved pretty easily when we'd prop it. Kind of funny watching him do it though. He looked like Superman. LOL.

Dave ~ Gala is our favorite, too! I need to do some research to see what we can grow well here.

Janet ~ I've considered looking at Stark, but would rather purchase locally. We've still got the healthy 'Red Delicious' and need to find out what pollinates well with that one.

Cinj ~ Yummy! It must be great, having all those different kinds!

Catherine ~ I've heard of apple trees like that. Fun!

flowrgirl1 ~ Thanks for that info! I did a quick look at that site and WOW, so many apples! I had no idea!

Unknown said...

Wow... good thing you and Romie decided to take care of that apple tree. By the looks of it, it probably would have fallen over on its own soon enough anyway! So where around you do you go to buy apple trees? I'm trying to talk my Mom and Dad into a fruit tree and would love to have a local source... :)

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