Last time’s blog was about vegetable and flower gardens, today I’m on about fruit trees. We don’t have a very big yard so I’ve tried to be careful about placing trees. It hasn’t always worked. I planted a series of dwarf fruit trees along the back fence, but only two of them made it through the kids. And one of them almost didn’t. The plum and peach trees died, but the apple trees survived. One has grown very, very slowly. The other takes some explaining.
The kids almost killed the one apple tree. They were playing in the back yard, and somehow (still unexplained to this day) they managed to break one of the apple trees. Broke the trunk at about 8 inches (maybe 7 maybe 9) above the ground. They said they ran into it, and it just broke that way. We'll leave that explanation alone. I thought they’d killed it, but I didn’t have time to deal with it then, so I figured I’d dig it up the next spring and plant another tree. But what did I find the next spring? A shoot had grown up beside the old trunk. I considered (just for a moment) getting rid of it, because I knew it sprang from the root-stalk. Dwarf trees are made by grafting the branch of a tree onto any old strong root stock. The type of apple doesn’t need to be the same, so I knew I wouldn’t be getting the type of apple I’d bought. However I knew it would be a strong and stubborn tree if I let It grow.
And I was right. But I let it live anyway. I can’t help but love a tree as stubborn, strong, and determined as that one is. We get about four to ten shoots off of the root-stalk every year. I have to keep cutting them down and back so the main tree will grow better. It’s not a dwarf apple tree anymore. The apples it gives us are small and firm, more cooking than eating apples. But they make great apple butter and apple sauce. I love that tree.
The other one give us slightly larger apples, but not as many. Also since the squirrels love to take just one bite out of each apple (so annoying) we don’t get very many to just eat out of hand.
I still occasionally think about getting another fruit tree, or two or three, for the front or back yard. There is a spot in the front yard that needs a tree to shade the living room window in the summer. And the rest of that back fence needs something.
Don’t know if I’ll get trees this year or not. I did keep trying off and on with other fruit trees. Usually ones that I got on clearance, so they didn’t cost much, but they didn’t have much chance either. I haven’t for a few years. Maybe this is the year I’ll try again.