We've been pretty balmy here lately, as in down right "Florida" warm. Yesterday late, we had a pretty strong storm front move through. As I pulled into the driveway my headlights showed lots of birch branches decorating the big green truck for Christmas.
The wind has calmed down this morning and as I was out walking the dogs, I wondered how the apple tree leaves have fared. You see all our leaves are down, all except the apple trees. Believe it or not they're still green and hanging on. When I got back to the house I went out back expecting them to be down or at least diminished.
Nope. Still there. I keep waiting on these to fall so I can prune the trees. I have a general rule about new trees. I pretty much pamper them the year I plant them. The second year I leave them alone for the most part but I watch and intervene only if things are particularly dry. This year I tossed a few buckets of water on them during a long stretch of no rain and high heat. I want those roots to get established first. I never prune a tree until the 3rd year. By that time I feel the tree is pretty strong and I can start shaping the tree up. I've never pruned a fruit tree before. I expect I can find advice on "how to" on YouTube, but if there's any apple tree growing advice out there, toss it my way.
So since the apples STILL have their leaves I'll be putting this task off a bit longer.
I went back into the house, still thinking of apples and thought I'd better check the boxes of fresh apples that are stored in the garage. I'd been out there the other day and thought I was catching a whiff of apple. Since we've been so warm lately, I knew there was a pretty good chance of rot.
I poked around a bit. The Pink Lady's are firm and holding up very well. So are the Granny Smiths.
The Honey Crisps are getting soft though and as I was making a mental note to make applesauce this weekend with them, I found it.
The one rotten apple in the box. Several getting soft. But overall I'm very happy with how these "fresh" apples are holding up. They've been stored for 2 months now. So I'll be curious to see how they last heading into next year.
I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend. Mmm...Applesauce and apple pie. Yum