For me, apple trees bring back childhood memories of a Macintosh apple tree that sat on the property line between our place and our neighbours’. The girl next door and I climbed that tree, we played in that tree and we daydreamed in that tree.
It was the neighbours’ tree however, and the neighbour took care of it, so none of that maintenance work shows up on my CV of my life experience.
Was I prepared for fruit tree ownership in adulthood?
That first season after the move, neither of the trees on our property bore any significant amount of fruit. We ran through a few scenarios to explain the reasons why: Could it be the trees’ age? Could it be the drought that put the trees in survival mode? Perhaps the trees were biennuals.
Either way, I count my blessings retroactively that the trees didn’t create any additional work for us given how busy we were with other urgent home maintenance projects while unpacking and juggling busy careers.
This spring, the apple trees graced us with beautiful blossoms and the greatest hope that we might see some fruit in the coming months.
In early June, the tree with the yellow transparent apples started dropping the first of its teeny tiny fruit. To me, this was a sign that the tree was well on its way. At that point, the apples were too small for any functional purposes so I just picked them up and put them in the yard waste bags.
But every time I looked up and saw just exactly how many apples were in the tree waiting to reach fruition, I wasn’t sure whether I should be happy or afraid. It was a massive apple tree.
Either way, I had TV-inspired visions of leisurely mornings, pulling out the stepladder, picking a few choice pieces of fruit for that day and then spending time in the kitchen making glorious baked goods.
The Pollyanna in me had a very pretty sweet view of what life with an apple tree could be.
That is… until a couple of weeks later when the apples started to mature, and seemingly all at the same time. Some days, they dropped at a rapid pace like a violent hailstorm of apples. It was in that moment that I knew how Henny Penny felt. Continue reading