Friday, March 31, 2017

Keeping Old Apples Alive

A rainy day today was a good reason to get some grafting done. I've bought and traded for dozens of different varieties of scion from old southern apples with names like Black Limbertwig, Arkansas Sweet and Jellyflower Sweet, to old European & English apples called Baker's Delicious, Margil, and Old Nonpareil. Some of the scion are from trees originating in New England that have been known for a century or more like Roxbury Russet, Crows Egg, and Legace and some come from old trees that I've found while hunting for grouse and woodcock. These old trees names have been lost to history so I've given them names like the Wopsy Mountain Sweet from an old tree found on Wopsy Mountain which was holding a sweet apple just before Christmas and the Frugality apple named after a small hamlet of several houses near where it grows. The Clover Run apple comes from a tree in a front yard of a home several hours north of the homestead. I noticed this tree several years ago while traveling to my northern coverts. Every year it would be full of dark red (almost black) apples hanging on after Christmas. Last winter I noticed a man outside and stopped and asked if I could cut some scion. He was very agreeable but admitted he didn't know what variety the tree was so I named it Clover Run after the road he lived on. As much as I enjoy this hobby I have to face the fact that I'm running out of good planting sites on my 66 acres. I've given some away to friends and family and I may just try to sell some locally so that I can keep practicing this hobby (ie. addiction) of grafting apple trees that I've grown so fond of.

Patul is a variety from the Transylvania region of Romania. It's name comes from the place where it was traditionally stored, in hay inside the barn. Harvested in October it was still good to eat in April and May of the next year. It's resistant  to spring frosts and is noted for producing reliable crops each year.

The more uncommon an apple variety is the more I want to grow it.

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