11/21/2010

My dearly beloved tree......

Last spring I photographed this old Gravenstein apple tree in full bloom... We had cut back most of the branches over the years to reduce the weight of the apples... Every year we were sure would be the last and this year was... As it happens I had an old neighbor who could date when it was planted as he had planted several of them at the same time.. When we moved here in 1980 there was a hole in the side of the tree and you could reach all the way up into the tree as the heart wood was decaying.... Birds, squirrels and chipmunks all used the cavity in the tree .. The blooms perfumed the garden and the apples fed us and the deer year after year after year..

But if you stood on the other side of the tree you can see why it was a miracle it continued to bloom year after year and produced hundreds of apples. For about 4' all that was left of the trunk was the outer shell and yet that was enough to nourish the tree.. We propped it up with fence rails long ago but this spring it was listing so badly I was sure it would go down before it set apples...



But as usual it set a stellar crop of apples and late summer it went down fully loaded.. The deer were there the first night and since they actually prefer the leaves to the apples they proceeded to "deleaf" the branches leaving the apples exposed.. Of course after the leaf appetizer they ate the apples. They started on the lowest branches but later stood on their hind legs to get all of them.

I'll really miss this old tree with its tenacity for life... I have some branches I'm saving to make something with... what I'm not quite sure... and I want a piece of it buried with me... But tonight it's supposed to get to zero degrees and tomorrow night 12 below zero... and I still piecing on my suffragette quilt keeping toasty warm by an apple wood fire. The tree was eighty years old...give or take a year..



8 comments:

BSOTF said...

olderrose,
I'm sorry to hear that you lost your apple tree. Yes, I can see why it is a mircle that it kept growing apples. Thanks for sharing your story & pictures of your lovely tree.

Glenda said...

That's amazing that it kept producing! An inspiration for being resilient no matter what's thrown in one's path =).

Pearl said...

That is truly amazing the within this wonderful old tree. Brrr sounds a little to cold for my blood. They keep calling for snow but so far it's spit about 5mins for two days, and that's o.k. by me.

Carol said...

80 Years! Heartwarming that you helped it along the way and let it go in its' own time.

Happy Thanksgiving.

black bear cabin said...

Im sad you lost your tree, as im sure the wildlife will miss it too. Just think of all the joy that one tree brought to so many. A nice full life! Glad you have photos of it to remind you of its endurance...and how sweet to save a branch or two for you own memories! (perhaps it can be shaped into a wreath?)

Momma Bear said...

greetings oh, nanook of the NW!)
It was 18* this morning and the snow is everywhere,we'll be sewing together by a fire today I can tell you!
Rest in Peace dear apple tree!
It's so sad to see an old friend go down. maybe if its roots are strong enough it will shoot and you can nurture a new tree from the old.

GinaE said...

Love this post, thanks for sharing. What a grand old tree!

Plays with Needles said...

HI Ger. I'm home and trying to get caught up with you...this post brought a tear to my eye. I remember your post about this tree and the lessons you gleaned from it. I think the part that made me happy/sad and tear up was when you were stitching by the warmth of an applewood fire. And so it goes...the circle of life...

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