When we moved into our house over four winters ago the one fruit tree on the property was an old apple tree. It was massively overgrown and had barely produced anything in years. I wish I had pictures of the progression (it’s what I get for not trusting the cloud!).
Last year, after three years of pruning, the apple tree was mature. There was a banner apple crop; I think I got seven grocery bags at least off of this little tree. Before that, I didn’t even know if they would grow to a decent size. The flavor is alright, but not amazing. I’m considering grafting several species onto the tree. If I were to summer prune, I think I could get large fruits indeed.
However, instead of being used as table fruit, these apples were used for making cider with my awesome neighbor on his hundred-year-old traditional cider press which has been in his family for generations. My first batch of experimental hard cider was hit or miss- but I know more for this year.
Anyway, here is a progression of this tree’s year so far:
2017 was a long, harsh winter. The apple tree is always the first tree that I prune, it brightens my gloomy winter spirits and prepares me for getting into tree pruning mode- which was difficult this year with the crazy harsh winter!
Here is the tree after its 4th annual pruning I am intentionally letting it get a bit taller in a controlled fashion, so it provides more wind protection to the deck- we have a bare rocky bluff on the side the weather arrives!
There was a short apple bloom because of erratic weather- a heat wave killed the flowers after four days. However, the bees managed to get it well pollinated in that short period; she’s full of apples, it should be a great year for this tree!