Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sparkly Trees

The sunrise this morning was beautiful, with the sun coming through the trees making the ice on the tree branches sparkle.  Further, it was snowing tiny little flakes that sparkled like diamonds coming down.  It was 6 degrees mid-morning - I went outside to take a picture of the light through the trees and it actually felt warm to me, after yesterday's bitter weather.  Good thing, because I went out in my slippers and sweater, just to get past the windows that dulled the shine from the tree branches.

I spent time last night picking out what apple and pear trees I want to buy.  I also spent time trying to figure out what apple trees I already have, using the St Lawrence catalog and some websites as a guide.  As usual, when trying to identify something, you have to make a guess before you can decide if it's right or not.  The challenge for me is, what to guess. I think that two of my trees that bore last year are McIntosh and Golden Delicious,  (I'm not so sure about the McIntosh now).  The third one has me stumped.  First I thought it was an Empire, then I thought Cortland, and now I'm thinking maybe Duchess.  The SLN catalog helpfully lists the apple colors, so, since I would describe the mystery apple as yellow-green with red stripes, I could dismiss any solid-colored apple.  Here's the mystery apple (the spots are from plum curculio, I learned in November). The options, leaning toward old types, are: Avenarius, Canada Baldwin, Duchess, Dudley, Early Cortland, Jenner Sweet, Northern Spy, St Lawrence, Striped Harvey, White Astrachan.  Oh well.  I may never know - unless there's an expert person or website I can send some pictures to.  It's only important because I'm curious, and I want to choose varieties for cider, keeping and canning that are different from what I have already.

Back to the tree-picking, woman!  Anyway - here's what I want to get.

Apple trees: 1 Norland, 1 Freedom and 1 Jordan Russet (couldn't resist)
Pear trees: 1 Hudar and 1 Jubilee
Apricot trees (from a different catalog): 1 Sungold, 1 Moongold
Peach trees: 2 trees, not sure what just yet

For those readers that have or have put in apple trees - what kinds do you have?


  1. Jordan-
    Have you tasted apples from the mystery tree? That may help - are they tart or sweet, softer or crunchy? Resembling any other in flavor? I bought apples from my old guys on the way home from work and I think that is what I want to plant next year. Working on location, location, location. Red Haven peaches seem to be popular around here.

  2. I did a taste-test of the two red-type apples and posted it on the blog in, maybe September? I can't remember when it was exactly.The apple pictured here was tart and sweet and cooked up wonderfully. The other apple was easier to eat fresh (sweeter), but got mushy and lost flavor when it cooked up. I really will have to look at that old post, because maybe the flesh of the not-pictured one was pink, which was noted in some descriptions in the catalog. Thanks for the info on Red Haven peaches!

  3. I love those apple variety names. No advice on apple trees from here, but I have always wanted my own orchard - maybe someday. My itty bitty town yard just doesn't have room.

  4. Reliance peaches are the ones that grow well in northern cold climates. I've heard good things.

    I plan to get two from Miller Nurseries.

    Somehow, in a moment of craziness, I ordered 5 black walnut trees from a nursery in Idaho a month ago. I think the minimum was 5 for $10. Of course, I don't have space for 5 black walnut trees, but I had $10.

  5. Linda - some of these dwarf trees are columnar and take up a pretty small space.

    Kate - thanks for the info. I looked through the Miller catalog last night and I think I'm going to get an apple and both pears from them instead of St Lawrence. I went to a short seminar in Jan, where the guy said that Spitzenberg apples are the best, and Seckel pears. Miller sells both. Maybe you can sneak-plant some walnuts at neighbors' places.

  6. I think I will put two black walnuts at the end of the clearing to one side of the house, and one at the end of the smaller clearing on the other side, and then take two into the woods on the hill behind my house and look for a modest little clearing and plant the other two and wish them well on their own. I think I will give them some hardware cloth caging for small animals, but that's it.

    I have to get two peach trees into the first space I mentioned too. Very tight fit, with all the tall trees circling it. I plan right now not to take any more trees down until I decide it's worth the money.