I thought I had mentioned my sad old apple tree in here previously, but it seems I only got as far as a post in the Forum a few years ago.
Seems this was way back in 2007, when I mentioned how good the crop was, because circumstance prior to that had meant I just had to leave them on the ground to rot, as I couldn’t collect them. This was the pic that went with the post:
Those apples were as good to eat as they looked, and while we used to stew them, this was abandoned in favour of just eating them as they came. No idea what they are, but we get loads of Braeburn in the shops around here, and they are much the same.
As per my usual luck, soon after deciding the apples were good, they seem to have been struck by something referred to as ‘Star Disease’, or by other similar names. It’s a pretty accurate name, as it refers to a star-shaped feature that appears on the apple, and causes it to split open as the star grows. Eventually this affected nearly every apple that appeared on the tree, and I just gave up and dumped the lot in the bin, spoiled by this disease.
I’ve done this for a few years now, and when I collected the first fruit to drop this year, was ready to do the same. The pic below shows what I was finding:
Here’s one in close-up:
Mmmm… appetising (NOT!)
After this appeared, I started dumping them as they fell to the ground. I don’t like to leave them lying – the local squirrel population decided to eat them, but as this population comprised the grey invader rather than our own native red, I didn’t want to be providing them with free food just to be picked up.
I also noticed that quite a few of this year’s apples were unmarked, and started collecting them, eventually collection some 200 or s0 (although I was collecting poor examples I would normally have ditched as they were either small, or looked unlikely to ripen.)
So far, they’ve turned out to be pretty good, with one small problem not noted in the past. While I have been able to keep them stored well into December and even January, about half of them have already started to spoil rapidly, and are having to be dumped. They’re obvious, as they lose their gloss and go soft, and can be seen to be blackened on the inside if split, as can be seen in the bucket-load below:
Of the 200 collected, it looks as if half of that number will have to be dumped as they are rotting quickly.
That means I will have thrown away 700 of 800 – and that figure ignores dozens of immature examples that fell off at the start of the season.
I hope commercial growers are harvesting more than a measly 12% or so of their tree’s fruit.
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