Apple Trees


I have two apple trees along the creek between the driveway and the goat yard. When I planted fruit trees this spring, I didn’t plant apple trees, wanting to wait to learn more about the two existing apple trees. They blossomed out really well, but….. They haven’t set much fruit. That could be from several factors, but I think the most likely one is that these apple trees just don’t look very healthy. They are older apple trees. I have no idea what kind of apple trees they are, but at this point, I’m not going to count on them. I’ll continue to observe to decide ultimately if I want to have them taken down, to make room for other trees. For now, I’ve decided to go ahead and plant new apple trees while the final decision on the existing trees awaits. I’ve ordered four dwarf and semi-dwarf apple trees–BraeStar, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Cortland.

For good measure, I ordered an American Persimmon, which I had also left out when I made the previous order.

Trees planted this spring, now including apple and persimmon: peach, pear, plum, mulberry, apricot, fig, paw paw, hazelnut, sassafras, and sugar maple. Plus a friend gave me a weeping willow, which will also go in by the creek.

My cherries on the old cherry tree are almost ready!

I think I see a ladder in my future.


  1. marrypoppinz says:

    You may need to fertilize the trees. Check with your local farmers co-op. They can tell you what to use. Here in Tennessee we use 13-13-13.

  2. Jan Hodges says:

    I had a friend visit last fall and he pruned my three apple trees. Two of them are doing better than they have done for years. The little one died. I think it might have died anyway, it was not doing well. The other two look terrific. So maybe as well as food they could use a good pruning.

  3. lattelady says:

    You are going to be canning or jam making around the clock this year.

  4. bonita says:

    inb addition to the ladder, there may be dormant spray in your future, too. Pruning does wonders for ‘neglected’ trees.

  5. brookdale says:

    Be sure to keep a close eye on the birds as your cherries ripen…they are keeping a close eye on the cherries!
    It sounds like you will be having a great abundance of fruit in a couple years. Good luck with all the trees.
    Are your “deer apple trees” way up in the field going to have apples on them too? Or are the deer keeping them pruned? Sounds like maybe a good place to get a few deer pictures sometime.
    I love reading about everything going on there at Sassafras Farm. Makes me want to be there!

  6. WvSky says:

    Speaking of apples, did you know that the world famous Golden Delicious Apple was discovered about 10 air miles from your farm… in Clay County? The original tree was found on the Mullins’ family farm in Clay County, West Virginia, just north of Clendenin.

    In 2010, an Italian-led consortium announced they had decoded the complete genome of the Golden delicious apple. It had the highest number of genes (57,000) of any plant genome studied to date.

  7. whaledancer says:

    Apple trees should be pruned yearly to get a good fruit set. It’s not hard, but should be done correctly. There are a number of instructional videos on YouTube, just Google “how to prune apple trees.” My husband’s family includes a couple of apple farmers in Australia, one of whom taught him how to prune apple trees on a visit here many years ago. I wouldn’t give up on your apple trees until they’ve had a couple of years of good pruning.

  8. mds9 says:

    I agree with whaledancer, don’t give up on the old apple trees. A couple seasons of pruning should help. You need to learn how because the new trees you planted will need pruning to keep them productive.

  9. mtnmedx says:

    Speaking of cherry trees- I’ve read different things about cherry leaves being poisonous for some large animals, goats in particular. Is that really true? If so, how do you keep you sweet goats safe with cherries on the property? I’ve got a couple of cherry trees ordered and want to make sure I’m not setting up my animals for problems.


    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      The cherry tree is by the house. I don’t keep the goats by the house–or any of the animals, for that matter. Occasionally I let the horses come in, but they are here for short periods of time under supervision.

  10. mamawolf says:

    I love your fruit trees. We have 2 apricots that are loaded this year. There are more on one tree than on both trees two years ago. Yum apricot jam, preserves, brandy!

  11. bar2a says:

    i think that some old varieties only fruit every second year? friends in upstate NY had such trees as that.
    the trees were so tall she could never get the apples until they were over-ripe and fell. i agree that she should have trimmed them a little at the right time each year or so.

  12. kitler says:

    Hopefully, for you and the cherries, you don’t see any birds in your future. I swear the birds here have been sitting on the power lines just…waiting. For the ripening.

  13. zteagirl71 says:

    A weeping willow! Those trees are so lovely next to water. You go cowgirl!

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