Mistaken Identity

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The whole time I’ve had my plot I’ve known about the apple trees. There are 3 of them. Two are fruiting trees, trained as cordons and the third is a male tree for pollination. The male tree stands apart from the fruiting trees, giving a little bit of shade to nature corner. In spring this year, the male tree blossomed first, it’s flowers perfect, heralding in the hope of apples to harvest on my other two trees in the autumn.

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Over the last few months I’ve watched the petals gently fall away and in their place came some little green buds on the end of stalks. I wasn’t really sure what would happen to the buds on the male apple tree after flowering and just thought that they would probably fall away naturally during the June drop.

The apples on my fruiting trees have set and are looking really promising. The long awaited June drop happened at the beginning of July (we like to be fashionable late here) and the remaining fruit is continuing to grow well.

Lots of apples forming on the tree

Lots of apples forming on the tree

Every time I check on the fruiting trees I’ve got to go past the male tree. Every time I fill the pond in nature corner, I’ve got to go past the male tree and every time I check on the garlic, I’ve got to go past the male tree.

I go past this tree quite a bit.

My son came along to the plot with me at the weekend, (so I could marvel at the cauliflowers again) and asked what the red hangy things were on the apple tree?

“What red hangy things on the apple tree?” was my reply.

Red hangy things

Red hangy things

After a few moments, he brought one over to me to check out. They felt soft and squishy. They didn’t really look like apples but I thought they might be a seed pod of some kind and again, didn’t really think too much about it.

Later on in the day I was catching up on my blog reading and was drawn to the lead picture on one of the blogs I follow. It looked exactly like the red hangy things on my apple tree. Except they weren’t calling it an apple tree with red hangy things.

They were calling it a cherry tree

Hold on a minute.

Surely it’s an apple tree.

Intrigued, I started to research apple and cherry trees online hoping to clear up the matter swiftly. As it goes, identifying trees can be a tricky business and after about an hour of searching I decided it was possible for the red hangy things to actually be crab apples.

Crab apples

Crab apples

Crab apples

Crab apples

So we’re back to 3 apple trees.

Looking at the pictures they were certainly similar to the fruit on my tree at the allotment but something just didn’t sit right with me. The fruits on my tree were soft and squidgy. Not firm like I’d expect an apple to be. Plus they didn’t have the little dried sepal at the bottom of the fruit.

Continuing my internet search I came across a few diagrams of the crab apple. They showed a cross section of the fruit inside. Here I saw the familiar core shape I’d expect to see in an apple.

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Inside a crab apple

Inside a crab apple

This was it. This is how I’m going to identify the tree. I decided to go to the allotment and pick one of the red hangy things and if it showed a star shape inside when cut in half, it would be a crab apple tree. If it has a single stone, it’s a cherry tree.

My red hangy thing

My red hangy thing

Inside

Inside

A cherry tree it is!

2 thoughts on “Mistaken Identity

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