Sunday, May 22, 2011

Apple Blossom Time

   I grew up on a fruit farm so apple blossom time wherever I am has a special significance to me.   This year I have been especially aware of the apple tree blooms.   The blooms seem  to be unusually fragrant and abundant on both the domestic and wild apple trees in my neighborhood and on the Cornell Campus.   For the first time this year I learned that the only native apple trees to North America are the crab apple trees.   Today's domesticated varieties of  apple trees are derivatives of crab apple tree stock.  Over 60 years ago as a youngster on the family farm we celebrated full bloom of our apple trees in anticipation of a bumper crop of apples in the fall.    It was always a tragedy when a hard frost occurred during bloom time.   If my memory serves me right,  a major run of frosty nights in the spring of 1947 decimated our apple crop.   Our normal harvest would be about 5000 bushels.   The 1947  crop was only 746 bushels.   This was a serious blow to the bottom line.   Sixty four years later the same vagaries of weather assail apple growers.   However, this year's later in the season blooming of the trees should reduce the risk of a killing frost.   In 1947 full bloom occurred in late March due to an unusually warm spell in early spring.

     I am thankful that I can now enjoy the beauty of apple tree blossoms without the anxiety of needing apple production for my livelihood.   Below a are a couple of pictures of crab apple trees in  bloom on the Cornell Campus.   Enjoy!
Smell the Blossoms
I'll Look for the Crab Apples This Fall

No comments: