Brooklyn fruits?
August 12, 2012 10:37 AM   Subscribe

What fruit tree is blooming behind my apartment in Brooklyn?

There's two huge fruit trees in a garden about two doors down from me in my new apartment in Brooklyn. I don't have access to this garden so I can't get close enough to really see, and I don't know anything about what grows and when in this area.

The trees themselves are 3-4 stories high, with canopies that span at least 15-20 feet from what I can tell. The fruit is currently the size of a child's fist (about plum sized--though not plum-colored). The leaves are pretty droopy right now, but seem like they are probably kind of longish, thin-ish, oval-ly, about 3-4 inches long. The trees get full, all-day sun. I just moved in here, so I don't know what the trees look like in any other season or before bearing fruit.

At first I thought they were peaches because of the color which is, ya know, kinda peachy/pink with yellowish-green less ripened shades, but then I thought, "wait, this isn't Georgia, do peaches even grow here?". Then I thought maybe apples, but it seems maybe too early in the season for them to be that big/colorful? I have no idea.

I tried to get a photo, but the distance and the fact that it was taken through a window didn't allow for one of very good quality.

Any idea?
posted by greta simone to Home & Garden (20 answers total)
Maybe ginkgo biloba. They have fruits that are like horrible, squishy plums, and smell like rancid pee butter. If so, do not get excited and jump up and grab the fruit. That smell lingers.

More usefully, google female ginkgo and see if that's it.
posted by catatethebird at 10:49 AM on August 12, 2012

(Although ginkgo leaves are fan-like, not oval.)
posted by catatethebird at 10:50 AM on August 12, 2012

Not ginkgo. I'm still leaning toward apple, but I really just don't know about seasonal fruit life-cycles around here.
posted by greta simone at 10:54 AM on August 12, 2012

apple trees tend not to look like they do in children's drawings...much more like pus-bag covered witch hands...
posted by sexyrobot at 11:01 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

My neighbors in Massachusetts have a peach tree, so you're not too far north for that, and the leaves are long pointed ovals. I'm not sure how tall they get.
posted by songs about trains at 11:02 AM on August 12, 2012

posted by vitabellosi at 11:34 AM on August 12, 2012

Burbank plum?
posted by elsietheeel at 11:42 AM on August 12, 2012

I'll guess persimmon.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:26 PM on August 12, 2012

A photo -- even with the limitations you describe -- might be more helpful than random guesses. Can you post one?
posted by purpleclover at 12:44 PM on August 12, 2012

Neither peach nor apple trees (at least of the sort that could bear fruit in New York, which is possible -- I grew up with both in my suburban New York yard) get anywhere near "3 or 4 stories tall."
posted by spitbull at 12:57 PM on August 12, 2012

Yeah, these are really tall. I looked at the walnut photos, and while the tree is similar, it looks like all the fruits are only ever green. These fruits are most definitely bright peach colored. Persimmon looks like it could be a good guess.
posted by greta simone at 1:15 PM on August 12, 2012

Another guess for walnut here, but really, we need a pic.
posted by Specklet at 3:23 PM on August 12, 2012

It could be a crabapple tree.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:25 PM on August 12, 2012

TPS's former landlords had a peach tree in their yard in Astoria (which they cut down :-( ).
posted by brujita at 4:51 PM on August 12, 2012

Are the leaves one per stem or multiple per stem? If the latter it could be a Yellow Buckeye.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:36 PM on August 12, 2012

quince? if you can get close enough to see the leaves well, i've used this tree ID web site successfully many a time.
posted by nevers at 7:20 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

There's not much "traditional" fruit blooming now - apples, pears, peaches and cherries have all bloomed by now. Quince and persimmon also flower in the spring so I'd have to go with horse chestnut although it's pretty late for it to be flowering. There aren't that many trees that flower in August so that's what I'd look for when IDing it.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:13 PM on August 12, 2012

Not horse chestnut. Different color and not spiny.
posted by greta simone at 5:26 AM on August 13, 2012

Alright well mystery solved. Figured out that the trees are in a community garden, talked to the guy that tends the garden. They are indeed peaches and they are definitely full-sized when seen close up. So beautiful to be looking at peach trees from my Brooklyn bedroom window!
posted by greta simone at 9:22 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just FYI: "Blooming" means flowers. What that peach tree is doing is "fruiting." The fruits are enlargements of the blossom's ovary. The tree would have been in bloom in spring.
posted by jocelmeow at 1:51 PM on August 15, 2012

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