We have a few really old apple trees on our property, they were planted by the original homesteaders in the late 1800’s, which means they are all well over 100 years old. Last spring we lost one to a late spring blizzard, it was in rough shape and needed to come down anyways, so we harvested some of the wood and took it to a local sawyer to mill up for us. There’s right in front of the house that’s an amazing tree. It’s been overpruned and underpruned. The last few years I’ve been slowly trying to get it back under control.
This tree is a lovely tree, vigorous and has lovely curvaceous branches. As I read more about pruning I can see how it ended up this way and am trying to prune for the future, hoping we can keep it thriving until the next generation lives on this property.
I can’t imagine what this tree has seen, year after year of good weather, bad weather, good crops, bad crops. It remains a stalwart in the garden, thriving despite its age, quietly growing and producing food for us and for the the wildlife.
Most of the apples produced by this tree are cider apples, which we harvests and use for that purpose. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and mix together to make a lovely cider. No doubt this was the purpose of the tree when planted almost 130 years ago. With the other old apple behind the garage we’ve been able to make gallons and gallons of cider most year as well as jar and jars of apple sauce and apple butter. We’ve also fed our pigs and chickens countless apples over the years and what falls late is gleaned by the deer in winter.
Do you grow apples? Do you have any old fruit trees on your property?