This apple tree was just a baby when we moved to this property in 2005. The moose had nibbled it back more times than I cared to count, but somehow it managed to overcome all odds and grow to a respectable stature. I don't know the apple's type, but the tree itself was stocky and strong, barely bending under the weight of its load. The fruit ripened later than our other tree (a Goodland variety, I believe), and was also more firm and a tad more tart. The largest apples were the size of my fist.
A few years ago, we discovered this apple's juicing quality—a very clear and sweet product, despite its somewhat tart flavour.
Then spring of 2016 happened; and our prized tree stood in water, waiting for the frost to come out of the ground so the spring thaw could recede. When it finally did, the torrential and unrelenting summer rains kept the ground soaked to capacity. We began to notice these crazy mushroom growths on the trunk of the apple tree—taking pictures for interests sake.
In 2017, under the weight of a prolific apple production, it succumbed to the rot that was silently taking toll from the inside, and it literally began to fall apart.
All our bungy strapping, bracing, and de-limbing couldn't save it :(
But we did manage to harvest a lot of the fruit, and amidst my loss and sorrow and tears (no, really, I was so sad!), I made my last apple sauce, pie filling, and fruit juice.
It's now 2018. A new apple tree (a different variety, but we're hopeful) stands in its place, bracing for the wildlife that is sure to visit this winter.
And we hope it's up to the challenge!