Year of the Golden Grimes Apple

DSCN0958In 1997 I planted two semi-dwarf apples trees:  Golden Grimes and Cox’s Orange Pippin.  Neither tree produced many apples lo all these many years, and what they did produce was twisted and wormy.  The deer enjoyed them.  I figured it was because we live on an old, “reclaimed” strip mine.  I was complaining about this one day last fall and a friend asked if I pruned them.  I said, “Yes.”  He said, “You have to prune them so you can throw a cat through the middle of the tree and the cat can’t catch a single branch.”  I thought, “Well, I do have a lot of cats…”

I pruned them back hard, not that hard because, darn it, the cats kept catching a branch or two (just kidding).

The Golden Grimes apple tree produced so many good apples I don’t know what to do with them.  Two of the baskets below and the bucket were taken off the tree before the picture to the left.  The apples aren’t perfect because I do not use pesticide spray, or any spray of any kind.  I throw chemical fertilizer at their feet a few times a year and the chickens poop under them (as they do lightly over the whole yard).  The only difference was the brutal pruning.  Thank You, Dave!

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So what about the Cox’s Orange Pippin?  I actually have two Cox’s Orange Pippin apples trees.  The one in the other location, shortly after I planted it, was blown over.  Snapped at it’s base.  Disgusted, I left it there.  It didn’t die, but I had no more time to fool with that stupid tree.  Finally I looked at it and saw that about 25% of it’s bark was intact, so I grabbed the small tree, pushed it upright mashing the splintered halves back together and wired it in place with four fiberglass posts between the wire and the tree.  I thought, stupid me, winter will kill it; but it didn’t.

A few years later there was a single small apple on that tree, and I picked it as I was passing one day and took a bite.  Best apple I’ve ever had in my life.

Several years later, one more apple, and I watched it and waited and then:  it was gone!  I complained to my daughter, who admitted eating it.  “You didn’t tell me!”  Which I admitted was true.  “But, it was a really good apple.”

This year both the Cox’s Orange Pippin by the Golden Grimes, and Broken Tree had apples.  The deer favor the Cox’s Orange Pippin, too, and I didn’t get a single one.

Next year I will shoot all the deer…  No.  But I’ll think of something, may be netting.