Gardentalk – Pick those apples and turn them into pie, jelly and applesauce

Homemade Apple Pie“Homemade Apple Pie” by WinstonWong* is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

There may be a few hundred apple trees of several different varieties in Juneau. The exact number is unknown.

For many of those trees, it’s harvest time.

But Master Gardener Ed Buyarski says tree owners should look carefully at the interiors of their trees. If the leaves and branches get too thick, then future apples on the north side of the tree won’t get enough sunlight to ripen. He recommends thinning out any interior growth while you’re already up there picking apples.

Yellow Transparents are usually the earliest apple variety. They should be picked at the end of August, when the fruit is still a little green. They will get mealy and turn pale yellow if you leave them on the tree too long.

Other varieties, like Pristine and William’s Pride, usually are picked later in the season as their flavor improves.

For anyone wanting to plant a new apple tree, Buyarski says now is the perfect time to order. He suggests picking out an early ripening, scab resistant variety for next spring’s planting — and getting together with others for ordering multiple trees

This woolly bear caterpillar was spotted roaming an apple tree in Juneau in August 2016.
This woolly bear caterpillar was spotted roaming an apple tree in Juneau in August 2016. (Photo courtesy Ed Buyarski)

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