Apples are so versatile with so many uses people almost overlook them or take them for granted.
They’re nutritious and benefit your health in many ways helping to prevent some diseases.
Although sweet on their own, treats like apple pie add something special to a meal.
You can grow your own and within a few years of planting they’re ready to pick.
But there’s more to apples than eating. This is the second part of two articles about these globes. Experience some of their other star qualities!
Decorative Crabapple Trees
Besides growing your own tree for fruit there is a decorative version: the crabapple tree. This four season beauty is worthy of a spot in your yard.
In spring, it’s covered in small fragrant blossoms that capture your nose long before you see the tree.
It’s the kind of scent that makes people forget to watch where they’re walking – running into street signs or falling off curbs.
Summer’s bronzy green leaves cover the tree, hiding the growing clusters of fruit.
Fall leaves turn colors yellow to red. Small apples like ornaments, hang in plain sight all over the tree.
Winter, some apples remain and stand out from the dark bark on the twisting branches.
Name refers to: Tree with small bitter fruit that is edible in jellies.
Leaves: Small deep green to bronzy color in summer. Varieties have leaves that turn yellow, orange, red or purple in fall.
Blooms: In April beautiful buds open to flowers of white, various shades of pale to deep pink depending on the variety.
Fruit: Small yellow, orange red to deep red apples that are too bitter for basic eating. It makes a good tart jelly.
Trunks: Pretty, gnarled shape that looks like a statue in winter. Snow on bark is a bonus.
Height: 15-20 feet
Spread: 12-20 feet
Attracts: Pollinators like bees and butterflies. Birds love the fruit later in the season.
Sunlight: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained, tolerates clay soil
Fertilize: Add compost once a year
Considered a low maintenance tree if you get a disease and pest resistant variety.
People who cut the grass find fallen apples may damage the mower blades. Plant in a large bed where fallen fruit can just decompose.
May develop scab, fireblight, rust or powdery mildew.
Insect problems include aphids, borers, Japanese beetles, scale, spider mites and tent caterpillars.
More Star Qualities
Experience versatile apples in events, art, crafts, stories and sayings. You’re surrounded by their sight and tart smell!
Celebrations of apples:
Festivals: Across the country you can find many apple festivals usually from September to mid October. Think about it now and plan a fall trip for next year.
Each festival is unique reflecting the town or area where it is held. Apples and products made from them are the stars of the festival.
Here are some activities you may find: judging of apples, pies and jellies; arts and crafts with the fruit.
More activities: parades, musical entertainment, how-to demonstrations, games, rides, hayrides and art shows.
Apple-picking at farms who may also host events or sell products made from apples.
Bobbing for apples is a game usually played at Halloween parties. Get a large tub at least 18 inches in diameter, fill with water and throw some fresh ones in. Watch them float on top.
You kneel on the ground with hands behind your back. Try to grab one with your teeth. Not as easy as it looks!
If the tub is big enough two people can bob at the same time. Winner is the one who gets it first. You can also time the contestant to see how long it takes. Shortest time wins.
Or set a timer for a minute and see who can get one in that time. If you get the apple it’s yours.
Dolls: Make a doll head out of a dried apple. Make a body, attach the dried apple head and dress it to complete the doll. There are many instructions on line for how to make one.
Apple Art: Young children may use them as a tool to make sculptures or prints. To make a print use half an apple as a stamp. Cut a whole one in half. Let it dry for a little bit so juice doesn’t interfere with paint.
Put a little acrylic paint on a paper plate. Take one of the dried halves and dip the cut side evenly into the paint. Press onto a piece of paper. What designs can you make?
Apples are the main subject in paintings by famous artists.
Vincent Van Gogh painted Still Life with Apples, Paul Gaugin painted Apples in Bowl, and Paul Cezanne painted The Basket of Apples.
Maybe this fruit was in season and handy to grab, display and paint? These are only three of many works of art with apples as the main subject or as part of a larger scene.
Stories from history
Sir Isaac Newton (1642/43-1727), an English physicist and mathematician had an experience with the humble apple that inspired him to think about gravity.
While drinking tea under apple trees, a ripe one fell from a tree to the ground. Thinking about “why and how” later contributed to the development of the universal law of gravity.
John Chapman aka Johnny Appleseed ( 1774-1845), was a traveling nurseryman who planted nurseries and apple orchards throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
The fruit from these trees were good only for making hard cider and applejack. Orchards were a legal way to make a land claim.
He’d plant an orchard and create a nursery, then leave to create another somewhere else. He’d return in a few years to sell the first one off.
He dressed simply, often without shoes, wearing a tin hat. He believed in no harm to animals or other living creatures. His life and work made him a folk hero.
A few old sayings starring apples:
As American as apple pie.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
An apple for the teacher…
“Apple polisher” – name given to a person trying to impress someone.
Apples are wide spread in the world. They’re recognized in all sorts of food products, health benefits, celebrations and artistic uses. They’re everyday stars of life!
Wikiart Visual Art Encyclopedia
Copyright 2019 Juli Seyfried