Archive for the ‘Hauer 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.

Finishing The Work

It’s been an interesting month or so.  First, my Hauer Pippin tree had ants and aphids.  I bought diatomaceous earth which kills ants, but it’s been windy around my place, so it didn’t work too well.  Eventually, I used the old “kill it with my thumb” method.  That has worked pretty well.  I still see a few ants and aphids here and there, but i’m killing them with my thumb.  Not exactly permaculture or a holistic approach, but i’m working toward it.  I’m a newbie for goodness sake!  A few of the other trees had ants and aphids, but none of them like the Hauer.  Speaking of which, I need to name that tree still.  I named the Newton Pippin this week.  It’s named after Arthur Hill and Central Michigan standout, Brian Pruitt.  He played ball here and was a huge reason that CMU was any good in the early/mid 1990’s.  So, I have four of the six trees named.  Well, seven trees if I count the Bollosh Tree…maybe that’s what i’ll call that one.  It was given to me by the Bollosh Family, but it’s doing pretty poorly.  Most of the leaves are dead.  There are a few that are still green, but we moved the tree at the wrong time, it sat in the sun for most of one day, fell over once, was not watered properly for the first week or so, and it’s a dwarf tree to begin with.  This is the tree I was talking about at the beginning of the previous post.  Maybe i’ll call it BFT for Bollosh Family Tree.  They were the ones that gave me the mulch, some great black dirt, ramial chips, and brought it to my house.  Good thing he works at a golf course and has all that stuff on hand!

Speaking of mulch, I finally got my project finished.  I had to rake out the growth first.  There was a lot of plant life too close to the tree for my comfort.  These trees need to have no competition in the first few years.  After I raked out each tree, I put down the rest of the compost amendment that I got when I ordered the trees.  I had only put 1/3 of a bag on each tree, so I put an additional 2/3 of a bag on each tree.  Then, I scooped some of the black dirt I had gotten into a wheelbarrow and dumped it around the tree.  After that, the layer of ramial chips were laid down.  They were from the bottom of the mulch pile at the golf course, that’s also why I had some black dirt.  After those were down, I put a layer of regular chips on top.  I think this will be pretty good.  It already looks nicer than it did before.

It took me three months, but I believe that the trees are ready to go.  Now I just have to wait a few years until they begin to give me fruit!

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!