Plant ID forum: Unidentified apple tree in backyard

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AppleLadyMeg
Aug 2, 2013 10:05 AM CST
Hello All Things Plants!

I need your expert help. We moved into a new home this past April on the NE side of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In May we were excited to see a blossoming tree with very very pale pink blossoms in full bloom in our backyard. Slowly the blossoms turned into small apples that have already grown past crab apple size and are a blush red with green and about the size of large meatballs as I write. I hope the attached images help. The tree at the moment is quite fruitful and the squirrels have already enjoyed a few. My first question is in regards to the edibleness of this tree and how can I insure that if they are indeed edible that worms/insects do not infest the fruit before they are picked? Second, what kind of apple might it be? Third, when should one harvest apples in the fall? How does one know a tree is ready to be picked? Finally, how can we prepare the tree to be fruitful annually? Is there some sort of insecticide or pruning that is necessary? I so much appreciate your help and expertise!

Thank you,
Megan
Thumb of 2013-08-02/visitor/72eefc


Thumb of 2013-08-02/visitor/eb5b04

Name: Deb
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Bonehead
Aug 2, 2013 10:25 AM CST
Welcome Meg! Yum. I would bite into one and see how it tastes. If it's green, you will be able to tell by the bitterness, and should just let them ripen further. The taste may also be a clue about what apple you have. I've never heard of an inedible apple, although perhaps there are some out there. Let us know how they are.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 2, 2013 5:01 PM CST
Seems like a good time to ask the County Cooperative Extension Service to send someone out to have a little look.

The other thing is that you said you moved to a new home, but did someone live in the house before you? One of the nearby neighbors may know the name of the apple. Bake a batch of cookies and knock on some doors...
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
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JRsbugs
Aug 3, 2013 3:04 AM CST
Welcome! Megan.

I think you will have a problem trying to identify your tree, unless there is a lot of them in the area as a popular tree once sold by a local nursery then someone might know the name.

The fruit is ready for picking when it comes off quite easily with a little twist of the apple, if you have to tug at it then it's not ready to be picked. As Deb suggests, if you want to eat some before picking the entire crop then all you need do is try one but for storing you should wait until they are properly ripened. Different varieties mature at different times.

I don't think you need to worry about worms unless you find you have a lot of infestation. I had a lot of Codling moth in my cooking apples when I first moved to my current house, I used to pick up all the fallen apples so that reduced the numbers. I rarely see any worms now, if there are any then I'm sure the birds will appreciate them when they eat the apples! Hilarious! There are other apple trees nearby so it's surprising there are not more, could be the moths go back to the same tree they came from. Some info ..

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advices...

To keep a tree fruiting well I find there is no need to do anything once a tree is mature, but if there is any dead branches you could remove them.



Name: Deb
Planet Earth, Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Ferns Dragonflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Dog Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeper of Poultry Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Bonehead
Aug 3, 2013 10:01 AM CST
My mom had the very best apple tree that grew from the root after our clumsy boxer pup snapped off the grafted whip. We never knew what it was, but it was crisp, sweet-tart, kept well, and made up into applesauce with very little sugar. Yum.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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