Monday, March 15, 2010

Sundance Apple Tree

It's one thing to say you believe in God; that is a statement of faith. It's another to plant a fruit tree; that, too, is a statement of faith (as well as an allusion to Eden), if of a different sort.

My father liked to plant fruit trees--in a disorderly fashion. He just picked spots on his acre of land and planted. Some of the trees were grouped together, but that seemed to be by accident. He had very good luck with apple trees. One became enormous, and then one late autumn a bear broke down many limbs going for the last apples. My father liked bears even more than apple trees, however, so he was cool with it.

He seemed extremely partial to a variety of apple called "the Arkansas black," which was really a deep red (apple). Smallish, but kept well. Nice for pies.

He had less success with the apricot and hazelnut trees. No wonder: his acre lay at 4,000 feet-plus in the Sierra Nevada.

All of this is by way of saying that I planted my second Sundance Apple tree today. I planted one last year. And I planted my first one about five years ago--at a different place; it should be producing heavily now. So it goes. Planters of trees often plant for others. The Sundance is a disease-resistant hybrid, and I get the dwarf variety. It's crisp, a bit tart, and certainly not too sweet.

Fruit trees: statement of faith, labor of love--almost like poetry.
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