The weather, frankly, has been lame. Its making me lame, and i am tired of gray skies. It was chilly yesterday and i'm seriously expecting a long, snowy and cold winter. We did get a bit of snow, mixed wet with rain late last night, but nothing that stuck.
The winter rye that hubby sowed in the yard has not sprouted, i think its too cold even for that.
I neatened up the string around the JA plot, cause thats about the only thing i can do.
Here it is in all its anticlimactic glory:
I have been looking up info on what to do about the apple trees, pruning suggestions and the like. I haven't come to a decision on if i will try it at this time of year or not. I did learn something new though. If you prune apple trees too heavily in the spring it can make them flower early and that can be bad if you get another frost. So i think spring is out. I do have to find out if it is wise to remove all the beginning apples next spring so the trees can concentrate on strengthening roots and trunk. i noticed the trunk on the bigger tree is actually narrower toward the ground than it is about 4 feet up. It just does not look right.
They had been planted in a bad spot that may have been good at one time until the trees behind the yard that belong to the other neighbors grew too high and shaded them out. (Box Elders, rant to follow)
This is the bigger apple tree. It has a "knee"... we had to prop it up with a portion of tree trunk we cut to move the neighbors fence OFF our yard. I used the cotton strap the hospital sent me home with after my car accident that left me with a fairly messed-up leg. The belt was so hubby could wrap it around me to pick me up if i fell over. Luckily it never had to be used! Now it has a great purpose!
Then, the littler one. They look like they have not had enough light for a number of years, i can only guess that the big one must be 6 years old at least, the little one at least 3. But with inadequate sunlight, they could be much older.
The big one is very fruitful, but after doing a bit of research, i found out what is bugging the fruit. Apple Maggot is one thing i positively ID'd.
Now, for the Box Elder rant. They are part of the reason why it took so much of the summer to get work done around the new yard. They were everywhere, fallen over, broken, growing up through what used to be the basement of the burned-down house. At best,hey are basically overgrown weeds.
They are prolific, fast growing, weak, spindly, ugly looking things. The female trees attract tons of Box Elder Bugs, which are mainly annoying but they freak out my hubby who insisted that they were ticks when we first moved in. The trees also drop their leaves slowly all summer and make a huge number of seeds that are similar to maple helicopters. These leaves and seeds make a mess on any paved areas, stick to windshields, get into car vents and roof gutters, coat the lawn and the seeds start sprouting in flower beds and veggie gardens and of course attract the bugs which drink the sap from the seed pods.
The trees grow at least a foot in all directions each spring, they sucker and water sprout all over if you lop off branches. The trees are so useless, you can't even use them to burn as firewood since they gum up the chimney and can create conditions that can cause chimney fires. They are also very brittle and can come down on houses and buildings, they crack under snow and ice and end up hollow or half deadwood. Very dangerous trees!
There is one on the other side of our house that belong to the neighbors that i will call "the nice ones" . This tree is the only issue we have with them. The tree leaned over our roof on the shady side of the house and it rubbed our ridge, dropped leaves on the roof and basically took a few years off the life of our shingles. We offered to have the tree cut down entirely (we are lucky enough to know a professional tree-chopper-downer so the cost would be minimal) and i even suggested that i'd replace it with something ornamental for them, but for some reason the Mrs is attached to the tree.
The best we could do was convince them to a friendly agreement that we would have the big branch that was dangling over our roof (and causing the trunk to list to our side) removed as well as the branches that were shading out what little yard we have on that side of the house. At least now the tree does not look as though it will come through my living room if we get an ice storm or a hurricane. That's a relief!
This is what is left after we removed the parts that were causing damage and after the neighbor hubby did some trimming of his own:
As gorgeous as this tree is now, i still think they should have taken me up on that ornamental offer. LOL
At least today is sunny, according to the weather forecasters we should be having "seasonable" weather for the next week or so. This means not so many threats of snow and temps more around the 50-60 degree mark- this is great, maybe the ground will warm up just enough for things to move a bit before the snow really falls.