No Apples This Year

This year has been one fungusey year, I tell ya. Yeah I know, fungusey isn’t a real word, but with all the fungus I’ve dealt with this summer it’s officially became a word around our house because there’s no other way to describe it other than… fungusey. Seems like one thing after another came down with some sort of fungus all summer long. From flowers and shrubs, to tomatoes and even the apple tree, it was all affected by fungus this year.

Unfortunately our apple tree got cedar apple rust, which is a fungus that requires both cedar and apple trees to reproduce. It starts out in the spring with the cedar and once the spores form, they travel by air to the apple tree where they infect the leaves and blooms. The apple tree will develop yellow spots on the leaves and late summer the spores will mature and travel by air back to the cedar tree to complete the life cycle. You can read more about the life cycle of cedar-apple rust here.

There’s not much that can be done once the tree becomes infected. One way to prevent it is to cut down all the cedar trees, which is something we’ve been considering. They’re not one of our favorite types of trees, so it wouldn’t really bother us to get rid of them. The only hang up is there are a couple that we’d have a hard time getting rid of only because they’ve been here forever and it would change the look of the place if we did take them out. For now, since there are a bunch of cedars around here, and it’ll probably take us a year to get around to taking them out, we’ll probably start with some of the ones we’re sure we don’t want and leaving the others for another year to see how things go. The last three years our tree produced quite a lot of fruit and wasn’t affected by the fungus, so it may have just been that conditions were just right for it this year.

Another option to prevent it is to spray for it, which I’m considering for next year. Spraying has to be done early, before the tree becomes infected to be most effective. I still need to do more research on that because I don’t want to spray anything too toxic since the tree is in our front yard and so close to our house. I think I’ll wait to research it when I have more time this winter.

So here’s the extent of our apple harvest…

Pretty pathetic, isn’t it?

On the bright side, due to the kids being energetic last year and making up a bunch of pie filling to freeze and me being not so energetic when it came to making pies, we still have plenty of frozen pie filling left. It’s kept really well after being in the freezer for a year.

Of course my hubby has nagged me all year long that I need to put that filling to good use and make pies more often, but it’s like I told him… and I just had to rub it in a bit too… since there’s not any apples this year, the rate at which I was making pies was just right because if I continue at that same rate, we’ll have plenty of pie filling to last until next fall.  Ya know… I just gotta ensure we don’t use up those pies too fast. 🙂

 I’m sure missing the house being filled with the aroma of apples and cinnamon from apple butter cooking in the crock pot. I’m also a little disappointed to not be making any apple cider vinegar; I was really looking forward to trying that again.  Hopefully next year we’ll have better luck.

Are you making any goodies from apples this fall?

 


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