Archive for the ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ Category

December 2016

Another year is in the books.  The harvest was a bit weird this year.  Usually, Cox’s Orange Pippin does well and I have a bunch of apples.  This year, I had three.  Then, when I went to pick them, they were gone!  I think either the deer or a neighbor kid got to them before I could.  My Northern Spy had one apple that got beaten up and fell early.  Newton Pippin did pretty well and had a decent harvest for the first time.  Hauer Pippin was awesome, as per usual.  White Pearmain had about it’s usual crop of 10-15 apples.  The one that was crazy though was the Ashmead’s Kernel.  It is pretty biannual, but this was it’s “on” year.  There were TONS of apples.  That’s even after I picked a bunch that had worms.  They are such a delicious apple.  One of these years, I want to make a single variety cider with them.

I also planted two new trees this year.  Both of them are cider apple varieties.  Kingston Black and Dabinett.  They both were purchased online from Cummins Nursery out of Ithaca, New York.  Both of them, like the rest of my  trees, are on MM111 rootstock.

I took a slightly different route this year with the fencing for the trees.  For the two cider apple trees, I did the same old routine; fencing with posts to hold them in place.  For the other trees, I used the old piece of fencing that I had around my long gone blueberry bushes to go around three trees on one side.  I still have to get the other piece of fencing ready to go and put it around the other trees.  It got dark before I could finish.

Fall Update

Well, fall is here!  The trees did pretty well this year.  The Cox’s Orange Pippin had a bunch of apples on it.  Actually, four of my seven trees had at least one apple.  I waited a bit too long to harvest my Cox’s Orange Pippin apples and they were starting to get mealy.  Another round of deer nibbled on my trees, but left the apples alone.  I thought that was kind of weird.

I’ve spent some time at Moore Orchards this fall.  Was able to pick some Yellow Transparent apples for my grandma late in the summer.  Been hitting up the orchard every Saturday for the past few weeks to get more apples.  My wife has also been eating a lot of apples and together, we have eaten over a bushel in less than a month.  Her favorites are 20oz and Jonathon.

May Update

May was an interesting month.  The trees bloomed for the first time.  They also had their first fruit set.  Here is a picture of the Hauer Pippin with a growing apple.IMG_20130527_143452

The Cox’s Orange Pippin had TONS of flowers on it and looks like it might have some fruit.  I’ll have to make sure the apples don’t get too heavy on the branch and bust it.  That’s the last thing I need on that tree!  A few weeks ago, I tilled up the soil again and prepped it for the pumpkins and watermelons I planted among the trees.  Going to plant some blueberries just north of where I planted the apples.

Two trees did not bloom this year.  One was not a surprise.  The Northern Spy isn’t a big surprise.  It has been known as a tree that takes its time to get ready.  The other one was the Braeburn I transplanted last year.  I hacked it back a bit.  It had this ugly curve and some dead branches.  It’s leaved out and hopefully next year it will be happy.

Stupid Deer!

Yesterday was probably the nicest day we have encountered so far this spring.  After I let the dog out, I walked over to the mini orchard to look at the progress the trees have been making.  That’s when I made the discovery I didn’t want to make; deer had been there.  They bit the tops off of almost every branch on my Cox’s Orange Pippin.  That’s bad news to me because it’s the smallest tree and the one i’m most worried about.  They had bitten the buds off of a few other ones.  The ground was wet and I have somewhat of a ground mole problem, so you could see the deer tracks plainly.

My best guess is that because of the flooding we have had this past week, the deer finally found their way into my front yard.  Dave, my neighbor, commented on my facebook rant that he has seen deer tracks in his front yard.  The only thing I think saved me is that a car probably drove by and scared the deer.  I had to put my fencing back up around the trees to protect them until the flood waters recede and stuff starts growing back in the national wildlife refuge so they will leave my trees alone.

New Friends, New Horizions

Well, I got that mulch around the trees, but I need to pull it up.  It’s not the right kind.  What I needed to get was ramial mulch (mostly deciduous trees less than 2 inches in diameter that has been chipped).  It took a few hours of searching the internet and calling around, I believe I found some.  The guy I talked to called it “economy” mulch.  It’s pretty much exactly what I’m looking for.  Although it has some pine in it (which is a bit more acidic than regular deciduous), it should be just what I’m wanting.  It wasn’t too bad either, $12.?? per cubic yard, tax included.  The guy from Afterhours Topsoil told me the price, but I missed it.  I figure I will get a cubic yard for each tree (six trees).  This mulch will be great because it breaks down a bit faster than regular mulch and will give the nutrients back to the soil that I’m hoping to get.  Due to the fact that it’s smaller branches, the research says that it still has more nutrients than stem wood.  That’s what I’ve read at least.  Even some of the gardeners I’ve talked to had no idea about it.  They thought it sounded pretty good though.

This weekend, I’m hoping to visit with Terry Moore of Moore Orchards in Midland.  He has a large orchard with many varieties.  Terry has been working on his orchard for about 25 years.  I need a place to transition the information I read about into actual work experience.  It’s my hope that he will allow me to come and work with him on his orchard to learn about the nuances of growing apple trees.

The Hauer Pippin tree is beginning to bud as is the Cox’s Orange Pippin and the Ashmead’s Kernal.  We did have snow yesterday (no accumulation, but there were flurries) and the weather has been in a constant state of flux.  The strong spring winds are also here.  My White Pearmain has a few leaves on it!  I’m very excited to see what this growing season will bring!