Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Late Hangers

It's what I call apple trees that hold their fruit late into the winter months. It's always a special moment to be wandering through woods and thickets and come across on old gnarled apple tree still holding it's weather shriveled fruit on a cold and snowy winters day. I'm lucky to have one growing on the farm. The old Sinkhole apple tree with it's multi-trunks sprouted from a seed years ago is a reliable producer of a greenish russeted apple that shows little damage from insects or disease.

A hard "tart" apple not for eating it probably would pass for a cider apple. I tried one of the old beauties just the other day. It was well fermented with the taste of hard cider. If you could stand to eat enough of them I'm sure you would get "tipsy".
I fed it to Sunny our old Morgan mare and she followed me around nudging me for more of them.

I plan on taking some scionwood from the old tree and grafting it to some B118 rootstock that will produce a near standard sized tree, but should start to bear fruit in 4-6 years much sooner that a tree grafted to a seedling rootstock which may take as many as 10-15 years to bear fruit.

I was lucky enough to get some scionwood last spring from an internet acquaintance who goes by the name of CrazyEd. He had discovered a late hanging apple tree in Wisconsin that he named the Airport Apple.

I grafted two B118 rootstocks with this scion and they are now firmly planted in the Back40.  Someday the Back40 wildlife will be enjoying fruits late into the winter months from these late hangers.

No comments: