Storm and loss of Liberty

Yesterday afternoon my neighborhood came through a freak storm of high winds and heavy rain, but despite not losing power, or having a tree fall on the house or car as some in the area suffered, I lost one of my beloved apple trees. This morning I found the 4 yr old semi-dwarf Liberty thrown to the side border, its trunk snapped clean at grass level and apples scattered all over the area where it once grew.

I’m sad, because this is the first season that I’d sprayed both trees with fungicide and they were both producing heavily and seemingly finally healthy; free of most cedar rust and scab that have plagued them for their young lives.

Ali had come out for a couple of days to help with yard work. This is the way the tree looked before his visit – it’s directly behind him. He’s eyeing a tall mullein (verbascum) ready to burst into bloom.

I guess now I’ll be making an apple pie or crisp, there’s not much else to do with green apples. Amazingly the Dutchess tree survived unscathed. This is probably its last year to fruit since it now has no pollinating helper.

On a more upbeat note, the yard is finally mulched with Ali’s help! All is neat and tidy instead of wild and ungroomed. Finally, a cleared border. The neighbors should be so happy now….

Thanks Ali! He’s wearing a hat from Angkor, Cambodia and an old St. Joe Valley Greens T-shirt whose logo I designed. After a few harrowing detours around downed trees and missed trains, he’s finally back in the city safe and sound.

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6 Responses to Storm and loss of Liberty

  1. Gina says:

    RIP Lady Liberty.

    In her honor, the world’s best skillet apple crumble recipe:

  2. V says:

    Thanks for the recipe. It was such a pretty little tree.

  3. Helen says:

    Sorry to hear about the apple tree coming down- but that was some crazy weather that came through back there. We have an apple tree in the front (in the parking strip). It’s an early transparent (not sure is that is the scientific name). Every two years or so it has a bumper crop and we have more apples than we know what to do with. Here is a video my husband shot a few years ago when we had tons of apples – or so it seemed:

  4. V says:

    Helen, I used to have a very prolific old apple tree in my garden in San Francisco – it looked similar to those yellow/green apples you have. I’d trade for Meyer lemons from my neighbor’s huge tree.

    We’re lucky to not have had more damage. Tornadoes in PA just don’t seem normal.

  5. Hi Victoria! Sorry to hear about your poor apple tree!
    re. the other tree and three -year cropping, what about grafting? I’ve seen grafting technique demonstrated recently and it seems a pretty straightforward technique. It was shown on a Raymond Blanc cookery series here. According to Stephen Hayes at Fruitwise, “one useful application of grafting is pollination. If you have a tree which is infertile due to lack of a pollination partner, you can graft a few bits of wood from a compatible pollen partner in to it.”
    I love that you can graft on different varieties and even pears etc!
    I think it’s too late this year but worth bearing in mind for next maybe?

  6. Victoria says:

    Amanda! I’ve been calling you Moss….sorry. If the tree had a branch at the bottom it might have had a chance – or I might have tried grafting if it were cooler weather.

    But it’s been in the 90’s here and the poor tree is quickly dying. I have advice from a local orchardist that it’s not easy to do and hasn’t worked well for her. She suggests planting a new rootstock – basically to start over. Wah.

    One lesson learned is to always plant more than 2 trees at a time!
    Thanks for the video, it was great to discover Hayes, and I had no idea there were so many videos on grafting! I’ll definitely try it sometime.

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