An Apple Tree Story
Fairmont, West Virginia
An Apple Tree Story
Once upon a time, on a farm not too far away and not very long ago, there were five very old apple trees. Sadly, they had no apples. They had not had any apples for many years; no one knows how many. One tree was very tall; one was very wide; three were dwarfs. The first dwarf tree stood next to a forsythia bush which was too tired to put out any yellow flowers in April. The second dwarf tree would have had a lovely shape if it had had anyone to prune the suckering branches. The third dwarf tree stood near the hayfield and was very unhappy indeed.
One winter day in late February an upright, two legged animal came into the orchard with a ladder, some pruning shears and a wheelbarrow full of granular, gray stuff with a label that said “Planters II, trace mineral fertilizer. Over the next few days these five trees were delighted to feel the wind and sun move more easily through their branches. The suckers were removed as were the twisted branches, the crossed branched and any that seriously impeded the sun and wind. Later that spring some smelly, brown stuff that could have only come from the back end of a cow was spread on the grass under these five trees.
That spring all the trees had flowers, some a few and some very many. In the fall each tree had a few apples! There were not very many and they were ill-shaped and spotted, but they were eagerly eaten by the deer and that two legged animal. As the years passed the routine continued, pruning, Planters II and cow manure, even on the forsythia. In time each tree recovered, both its beautiful shape and its ability to provide beautiful, tasty apples!
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