Seed Swaps

Outdoor Tour, Part 2

16 Feb 2014
Clear -13°C / 9°F

It’s Family Day, and I was able to take a tour of the “back 40” on snowshoe today and record some of the interesting plant life.


  1. A fork in my snowshoe trail, with apple tree on the left. (It was tough breaking trail after our last 30cm snowfall.)
  2. A clump of older trees, one of which makes baby gala-flavoured apples.
  3. A tree I have been trying to perfect my pruning technique on. It makes red apples, also quite small.
  4. A larger tree which I quit pruning after the first few years as it wasn’t bearing. In 2013 it had a decent crop of apples. Time to get out the pruning saw again!
  5. A lonely apple left on the tree above.




Why does it make small apples? I’ve heard apples came from someplace like Afghanistan and over there they come in every size, shape, and color.

Posted on 17 Feb 14 (over 5 years ago)

I think they are just wild apples, I’m guessing that they are seedlings from cultivated trees which must have grown here in the past, and have perhaps crossed with crabapples. They were quite tasty though, and seem to more or less cope with the disease & insect pressures thrown at them, with minimal interference from me, which given the extent of other jobs around here, works for me! I got 21L of apple sauce between the big apple tree near the pond, and these “back 40” trees.

I do wonder if I thinned, fertilized, etc. if they would get fewer but larger fruits, but I do like the variety of sizes. I expect over time we’ve selected for bigger fruits, which would be less labour per pound to pick.

Posted on 17 Feb 14 (over 5 years ago)

Actually, I was quite intrigued when I discovered there were more variety in apples than I previously knew. I have some kind of ornamental fruit tree out front that produces small apple or pear-like fruit and have wondered if I could use them for something. Maybe it’s even a crabapple. I’m afraid as a native plant botanist I’m sort of lost when it comes to domesticated plants. But I bet you are right, and that thinning and fertilizing would not do much to enlarge your fruit. If they are prolific, tasty, and disease free, then the smallness can be overlooked!

Posted on 18 Feb 14 (over 5 years ago)

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