August 8 – We usually have pretty good crops in the garden and on the fruit and nut trees in the yard. This year hasn’t been such a great one thanks to insects, and weather, either too much rain, or not enough. First, let me review the fruit trees.Our prune tree was loaded with prunes for several years, but then decided it had had enough of bearing and just lay almost dormant. Another year and it was easy to see the prunes wanted to succeed in their job of providing us with some good fruit. However, at least three-quarters of them fell to the ground when they were pretty green or long before they were ripe. As I mowed the lawn this spring, I kept an eye on the tree, just hoping that we would get some of those sweet and juicy prunes which I have always liked to eat. Back in Pennsylvania, my mom had a really big tree, and we picked bushels from it. Tasty! However, there will be little point in my watching those prunes from here on in. A week ago when I was mowing in the area, I noticed that the leaves on the branches were full of holes where the Japanese beetles had taken over! Big piles of them sat on the branches and continued to chew until the branches were totally empty, before they moved on to other branches to start the same process. Dale was going to spray the Stanley prune tree, but so many of the branches were bare of leaves, that he didn’t do much. These are the same Japanese beetles that did so much damage to our fruit trees in PA. And this is the very first time in our almost twenty years of living here in Missouri that we have seen even one of these horrible insects Since then beetles have ruined the plum tree, the Rose of Sharon bush, the Nanking bush cherries, and are chewing on the leaves of the big Siberian elm tree in the front yard.
As usual, our apricot tree lost out when the warmer spring weather turned cold, and the meager fruit fell to the ground before getting large enough to save. The new apricot that Dale bought and planted had no fruit at all!
When we first moved to Missouri, there were two apple trees in the yard that the owner had planted years ago. At first we had a good crop and for several years, I made a lot of applesauce, really tasty and delicious. Then the trees bore just about nothing. Last year, they were too small to even use, so Dale decided to cut the first one down.Thanks to my hope for some good apples I begged for its life for another year. Might as well have agreed to the cutting down because the apples weren’t worth anything.
At least this year the Golden Delicious has several places on the tree where we can find 4 or 5 nice-looking fruits growing together. I felt of the fruit just yesterday to see if they were getting ripe, but not yet! Apples have always been one of my very favorite fruits. – CHRIS