2015: The year hardly any trees produced any fruit (again). A freezing cold snap hit the trees hard just when they were beginning to flower. Unlike the years before when this happened, this time we lost many healthy fruit bearing trees. Including: a few really nice, big apricot trees, apple, peach and strangely enough (though not a fruiting tree) Siberian Elms. I didnt think there was anything that would kill those!
2012: This year was unusual for a very different reason. This time last year (July) we’re usually asking a different question then “Are the apples ready to eat?”
How come apples are ripe and falling off trees in July? A friend and I where looking at an apple tree and couldn’t help but notice how big they were already. The apples were as big as they usually get when they are ready to be picked in the fall and there were also many on the ground. We just laughed and said, good the deer will eat them.
I didn’t think too much about it until later, when I got home and saw quite a few large apples on the ground at our place, too. I picked one off the apple tree and took a bite. It was ripe! It even tasted a little overripe, kinda mealy, similar to when they are picked late.
If you don’t have much experience with harvesting apples from your own trees here in Boulder, the reason I am so surprised is because the apples in our yard are not usually ripe until September to mid-October.
Occasionally, we have to brush the snow off them if they’re still hanging on late in October.
This time of year I don’t even think about eating them. I’m used to waiting to try them, no matter how good they look. Our apples are always hard and bitter this time of year.
Not believing it could be true, I tried another apple from a different tree. It was ripe! Then, I went to try the crabapples. I thought for sure the crabapples couldn’t possibly be ripe. They are often the last to ripen, sometimes, weeks after the other apple trees have been harvested they are still not ripe. This was my final test. The first thing I noticed when heading over to the tree was that there weren’t many apples on it. I picked one and it was… YUCK! Too mushy. It was entirely overripe.
The apples in our yard are either ready to be picked now or are past their best pick date by weeks. This is the earliest I can remember ever picking apples ready to be eaten from our property here in Boulder, Colorado. This is the only time I know of that we have had a thousand apricots hanging on our trees (still not fully ripe) and most the apples are on the ground! Now, I am going to try the pears!