Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's Blooming Apples!

July 23, 2016: We have apples!

I'm singing this to the tune of "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree":

"Oh, I looked out the window and what did I see?
Little green apples on the ugly apple tree!"

The apples on the west side of the tree seem to be
slightly larger and more plentiful.

Literally, I looked out the window yesterday and saw the apples for the first time. When Mark comes home from work, he closes the living room curtains before relaxing in the recliner. He hates a brightly-lit room almost as much as I hate a darkened room. When he fell asleep in front of the TV, I woke him and reminded him that Dr. Ata said no more sleeping in the recliner. He has to nap in his bed with his bi-pap machine and mask on, because his apnea is so bad that it's contributing to the heart issues.

Once Mark had retired to his room, I immediately reopened my curtains to let the light in. And there they were, gorgeous green globes dangling from the branches. I grabbed my camera and ran outside to take pictures. When Mark got up an hour later, he paused by the window, then looked at me in surprise. "There are apples on the tree," he said. I think it's funny that we both noticed them at the same time. Did they just pop out of nowhere overnight?

However, the east side has quite a few apples, too.

The last time we had apples was in the Fall of 2011. That's when I first found out it was an apple tree and not just a big ugly bush that was growing through our chain link fence. When we bought the house in 1993, it was just a short, scrappy little shrub with nothing remarkable about it, not even pretty flowers like our lilac bush. Sometimes I even thought about chopping it down. Back in October 2011, I wrote this blog post about how I came to learn of its true nature (click on the link below if you'd like to read about it):

Unexpected Apple Tree

I only called it an "ugly" apple tree because
it still looks more like a bush than a tree.

Later that following winter, my then-husband pruned away the lower branches in an attempt to make it more tree than bush and to promote more apples in the upper branches during coming years. It hasn't worked. We haven't had a single apple since that one little crop in 2011, five years ago. There are always apple blossoms, but never apples. Sometimes a hard freeze will destroy the blossoms, so we know there will be no apples, but other times we have no idea why. 

This spring, though, my tree was covered with apple blossoms, which in turn were covered with busy, pollinating bees. That is a very good thing. We did get a few more frosts this spring, but the blossoms seemed to survive, and I wrote about it in April here:  Apple Trees and BR Games

Thus, I've been hopeful that we'd finally see those sweet little red apples this fall, and it looks as if our patience will be rewarded! Now I just need to learn how to prune an apple tree properly...

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