End of the Orchard

Many of the old homesteaded farms along Kanaranzi Creek had an orchard. Margaret has relatives living on one about five miles upstream that was originally named Orchard Farm, but I don’t think any of the original trees still survive. That’s pretty much also true on Lone Tree Farm.

This is the only apple tree left in our orchard when it was in full bloom earlier this spring. In this long shot, the box elder tree to the right has plenty of leaves already, but the hackberry to the left still has not yet put out any. The small trees in the middle are chokecherries. The sole surviving apple tree looks pretty good in the closer photo on the right.

Unfortunately, other perspectives on this whitney crabapple tree show that the blossoms aren’t very uniform or thick. The view toward the north end of the old orchard is on the left and the view toward the south end is on the right. It looks like this last apple tree is dying. There were several other varieties bearing fruit when we were kids, including a winter greening and a yellow delicious that we called “sheep nose”. But, all of those old trees are gone.

The buds in the left photo and the spindly trees in the right one are all that remains of the thicket of chokecherries that used to line the eastern edge of the orchard. Like the lilacs, only a few are left. Now the “orchard” has been converted into a paddock for the first cow-calf pairs that are brought in during the early spring.

This apple tree is in the backyard of the old farmhouse and is the last one that one of my uncles gave the Folks. There are lots of dead branches so this may be one of the last seasons that it’ll bear fruit. He had gifted them others, but they’ve lived out their life and like the trees in the old orchard are dead and gone. We think that this is a Cortland apple tree and at least one of the others was probably a wealthy. These are all old varieties. The red blossoms in the photo on the right are part of an ornamental crab that was planted in memory of Mom’s mother. Mom was concerned that it wouldn’t grow and it wouldn’t be a fitting tribute, but it’s done better than some of the other old trees.

We’re approaching a time when there won’t be an apple tree on Lone Tree Farm that’s bearing fruit. The trees planted by the homesteaders in the old orchard are all gone and the trees planted by the grandchildren of the homesteaders are going soon. It will be the end of an era.


About Lone Tree Farm on Kanaranzi Creek

Recovering academic, earth scientist in phased retirement, farm manager by default, son, husband, father, grandfather.
This entry was posted in Farm History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to End of the Orchard

  1. O says:

    Thank you for sharing!


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