Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Two weeks ago SOB and I sat in the living room playing with the kids when were heard a loud 'ke-rak' sound. We ran outside to see an incredibly large branch from our apple tree sitting in our front yard. After first breathing a sigh of relief that we weren't out there playing we made a phone call to the local tree service that has been helping us care for the tree. It is old and in need of regular fertilization, along with some natural pesticide sprays. 

As it happens, because we had been taking such good care of the tree, it had produced an abundance of fruit. As the apples got bigger and bigger, the stress their weight placed on the old branches was getting more intense. The branch we lost had hundreds of apples on it, and was maybe six inches in diameter. At the advice of the experts, we had the tree cut back pretty severely. While we were away for Lucy's first birthday party they came and cut back about 30% of the tree, which actually reduced the amount of apples remaining on the tree by about 70 or 80%. 

That's not really a big deal because we'll still have many more apples than we need. The trouble is that we constantly (and I mean almost on a daily basis) have random neighbors stopping by asking if they can pick some apples. Everyone seems to have a story about how the previous owner used to let them have all the apples they wanted. Prior to the cut back we were more than happy to give away some of our bounty. At least the fruit was going to a good home instead of rotting on the grass.

Now, however, we are having some second thoughts. 

First of all, most of these people don't give a second thought to picking the low hanging fruit. We don't have a big ladder, and if people continue to only pick the fruit that they can easily reach, well then we'll be SOL. Plus, Sam is desperate to pick some himself. Even if we did have a ladder there is no way in hell I'd be letting my 2.5 year old climb it. Besides, the apples aren't even ripe yet. If you pick them all now there won't be any left once they are! Secondarily, they only take the pretty apples. Just because some of them look a little bumpy doesn't mean they are not still good. Trust me, I've checked. Finally, we've spent more than a thousand dollars on care for this tree. It doesn't seem fair that they should be able to just walk up and help themselves to the fruit of our labor, does it?

So what do we do? One idea I had was to collect the fallen apples and put them in a basket on the stoop. Then I'd leave a note for people to help themselves to those apples. While I don't think that's a terrible idea, I don't think it's a great one either. 

What is a girl to do? 

I promise no more gardening posts this week, ok? To thank you in advance for all of your help, please enjoy this picture of my children. I know I just posted it last week or something, but for Theme Thursday we're supposed to re-post our favorite picture from the summer and this one takes the cake!

Go on over to The Land of K.A. for all the summer's best! 

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Lora said...

people are jerks. I say put a sign that they were infested with bugs and sprayed with chemicals and pick the good ones and if anyone asks say you are using them as compost.

Stacy said...

What a sweet photo! Love it. :)

As for the apples, just explain it to them. Tell them they can help themselves to the apples high up in the tree, but the ones you can reach are all yours and your kids. And leave them alone until they are ripe. They are your apples, so you get to set the rules!

Killlashandra said...

I love you photo too. :)

As for your apples, you can try posting a sign and seeing if that helps at all. If not Lora's suggestions not a bad one if drastic measures are needed.

Bunny said...

This one is definitely a winner. It should be on your wall.

Rinny said...

I say you spent the money, the tree is on your property. If you want to sit out some apples, go for it, but otherwise, your tree your apples. you aren't the previous owner, and you can do whatever you want with your tree.