thinning apples

When the Damsel saw this on her apple tree, she was excited. She’s waited a long time for this particular tree to mature.

Then she found out this many apples is actually BAD for her tree. Too many babies make the momma tired, and could even make it so the momma won’t have any babies next year.

The Damsel feels the need to lie down for a while.

This tree needs to be thinned. The apples that are left will be larger, and the tree will be happier.

In the northern temperate zone, July 1 is a good time to do the deed. The Damsel recommends you simply do it when the apples are small yet well formed, so you can choose which ones to leave. If your apples are the size shown in the pictures, “now” is a good time. The tree still has a lot of growth left in it for the year.

One rule of thumb is to space the apples about a fist’s width apart, although some say even that is too close. The apples are easy to pull off. Figure out which apple is the Chosen One from each little cluster, and gently pull the others off so as to not disturb the Chosen One.

Apple Babycide may be easy physically but the Damsel found it an emotional experience. She’s such a crier. But it really was hard for her to pull off all these perfect, hopeful little apples and throw them away.

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21 thoughts on “thinning apples

    • I googled “green apple wreath” and only got fake apple thingies. Do you know how to do something with them to preserve them, like dip them in stuff?

  1. Yes, go take a rest. I had to do this with the peach tree. You found voice for me feelings exactly. I’m learning so much.

  2. Got cloves? How about an old fashioned Pomander. I have made them with oranges, but they can be made with apples too. They should be dried by Xmas. Baby pomanders would be cute stocking stuffers or decorations.
    You could try one to see, so you don’t waste cloves if it doesn’t work.

    • Oops, I don”t want the Damsel to panic over using expensive cloves…….you can wash the dust off them and reuse them over and over until the flavor is ALL gone.

      Got cloves? How about an old fashioned Pomander. I have made them with oranges, but they can be made with apples too. They should be dried by Xmas. Baby pomanders would be cute stocking stuffers or decorations.
      You could try one to see, so you don’t waste cloves if it doesn’t work.

  3. Hey, I’m slow….it just hit me……”how to make a Pomander ball” would be a good post a few months before Xmas.

  4. Things You’ll Need:
    Orange or tangerine
    Bottle of whole unbroken cloves
    Container of powdered alum
    Small bowl

    I’lll have to search, but I’m pretty sure that they can be done with apples too.

  5. Apple Pomanders

    You will need:
    1 medium apple
    3 ounces good quality whole cloves (buy these from a store that sells in bulk- not from the grocery store, unless you don’t mind a $10 pomander! It should cost $3 or less)
    ribbons
    ground cinnamon, to roll in if desired (many recipes call for rolling the pomander in cinnamon, cloves and orris root to preserve the scent. It really isn’t necessary, I’ve had some for years that still smell nice without being rolled and the ground spices can be quite dusty and irritating to breathe, especially the orris root. I also think the pomanders are prettier without the spice dust)

    Use a push pin or darning needle to make holes in the skin of the apple.
    Insert a whole clove into each hole.
    (you can skip the premade hole part if you want, I do, and just push the clove stem in with your thumb)
    Cover the whole apple with the cloves
    Roll in cinnamon if desired.
    Tie a ribbon around the pomander and knot it securely; then tie a bow.
    Or to hang the pomander on a tree, use a heavy duty paper clip and open one end enough to pull a knotted ribbon through.
    Use the paper clip to hang the pomander over a branch.

    Eventually the apple will dry, shrink and harden inside it’s coat of cloves-
    a pomander will last and keep it’s fragrance for years.
    Once the apple is thoroughly dry, they are very nice displayed in a basket with pine cones.

  6. What a cool post. Someday I will actually have fruit trees for which to do this. Any thoughts about how to prune a regular tree. I’m sure our need it as we’ve never done it….

    LOVE those first two pictures! Awesome depth of field and composition! :^)

  7. apple trees bear fruit on second year wood only unlike other fruit trees–so when it comes times to talk about tree pruning, su padre estara muy felize de hablar contigo.

  8. My mother in law and I have been talking about green apple jelly a lot lately– it’s a starter for many other types of jelly for which the fruit doesn’t have enough pectin of it’s own (like cherries). Do you know anything about this?/Would that work?

    ps, I hope to have apple trees of my own someday! I’m rather jealous at the moment πŸ™‚

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