I swear I did not cut down the apple tree!
August 26, 2012 12:18 PM Subscribe
How can I improve backyard fruit tree fruit?
posted by spacewrench to home & garden (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have an old Gravenstein apple tree and an Italian plum tree in my PNW backyard. Both produce a good amount of fruit most years, but if I leave it on the tree long enough to get ripe, it tends to get damaged / cracked / moldy at the stem and down to the core (both apples & plums). That is, most of the fruit looks OK, but there are blemishes on the top where leaves touch, there's often a crack around the stem, and when there is a crack, the center is often crufty or moldy. The rest of the fruit is usually OK (at least, I haven't died from eating it!) but it would be nice not to have to clean it up and pare off the ugly bits before serving.
Is there some trick fruit farmers know to get sound, tree-ripened fruit? Or am I simply too accustomed to the over-pesticided, picked-before-ripe fodder available from the local Whole Paycheck?