My neighbor, Mike the 3rd, asked me why his apple tree is losing its leaves.
If you have the same problem, here’s the answer. It is common for their leaves to turn yellow and brown and fall off after fruit drop. Mike the 3rd had a large harvest of apples and pears this year, and the deer and groundhogs were very thankful for this.
Mike No. 1 planted the trees many years ago. Although it is best to plant two apple trees that bloom at the same time to insure pollination, I think Mike No. 1, only planted one variety. Luckily, my other neighbor Joe also planted apple trees, and the two must get together once in a while.
Crabapples will also pollinate other apple trees, as long as they are in bloom at the same time. The only difference between a crabapple and an eating apple is the size of the fruit. If the fruit is under 2 inches, then it is a crabapple.
There are other reasons that apple trees may lose their leaves, but those usually happen earlier in the season. A change in the weather, water or nutrients may affect the leaf drop. Then there is apple scab, cedar apple rust, and fire blight. These can be controlled by spraying the trees multiple times with a fungicide.
I’ve noticed that neither neighbor is into fruit thinning. The correct method is to leave one fruit for every 40 to 60 leaves. This should be done when the apple is the size of a dime. You may need to use a calculator.
Apple trees don’t like to be planted in heavy clay soil, which is what we have in our area. The neighbors’ trees aren’t setting the world on fire, but they are still alive and producing apples.
You will need to plant them where they will get six to eight hours of sun. Spring is a good time to do this.
When you plant the tree, don’t plant it any deeper that what it is in the pot. If it is a balled and burlap tree, you need to remove the wires before planting. Leave the burlap attached, but remove the layer on top, and bury it so none of it is showing at the top of the soil line. I like to remove the whole thing, but the experts suggest this method.
Do not prune nor feed the tree for at least nine to 12 months. Either mark this date on a calendar, or get pregnant. When the baby is born, go ahead and prune the tree.
As I write this, today is the big day. My wife is coming home from Disney, and I have to pick her up at the airport. We have never been apart for this long, and I managed to survive six days of being home alone. During this time, I’ve made a few observations:
1. I have not had an argument with anyone for six days.
2. The TV has not been turned on since she left.
3. I’m not the sloppy one.
4. If I keep eating at Coney Island, I will never have to buy napkins again.
5. I have no need of a dishwasher, but a dish towel would be nice.
6. This is a true statement: It took me more than 10 minutes to learn how to turn the sweeper on. Whatever happened to having the switch on the handle?
7. I am still using the same roll of toilet paper.
8. One more day, and I will be out of clean underwear.
9. I have lost two pounds.
10. My family kept sending me photos of what they were eating while in Disney. They all had to gain 100 pounds. Look out any plus-sized store for a huge increase in business.
Make your space a green space.