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  1. #1
    dexterdoglancashire's Avatar
    dexterdoglancashire is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Default How can I tell when my apples are ready?

    Yeah, I know. Dumb question, but my apple tree is around 5 years old and Ive only once tasted the apples, coz Ive left them far too long before eating!
    What should I look for?
    Bernie aka DDL

    Appreciate the little things in life because one day you will realise they are the big things

  2. #2
    Florence Fennel's Avatar
    Florence Fennel is offline Gardening Guru
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    I'm only a humble novice dexter and I'm having problems this year with only 2 apples on my tree, but for the last 2 years I've picked my apples around the end of August when they looked big enough and when you take up their weight in your hand and twist slightly they come off easily. If they're not ready, they stay on the branch. Well mine did.
    Flo

  3. #3
    FB.'s Avatar
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    Gently hold the apple. Lift it up and give a little twist.
    If it doesn't literally fall into your hand, it's not ready.
    While there is a temptation to pick fruit early, it is best to wait until it is properly ripe - for the best flavour.

    The excellent old, classic, early apple variety "Worcester Pearmain" suffered from commercial orchards racing against each other to be the first to bring a crop to market.
    That led to inadequately ripened fruit (with a bitter undertone of flavour) being offered for sale.
    Eventually, the variety almost disappeared as a result of lack of demand - due to marketing poor quality (unripe) fruit that consumers got wise to.
    It's even-earlier offspring "Discovery" also suffers the same problem today. Properly ripened Discovery apples have no resemblance to shop-bought Discovery. I grow my own Discovery and they're delicious. Shop-bought Discovery are like eating raw cooking apples!

  4. #4
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    We've got 2 Worcester Pearmain trees we must have had them for 20 years, only problem we have is that they don't store too well so when we have a glut I make chutney and use them for juicing.

  5. #5
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    On a similar vein (so I won't start a new thread) why is it that my apples which won't come off in my hand, will blow off with the slightest wind?

    I don't know what type they are but they are well old as we have been here 13 years now and they were mature trees when we bought the house. (is there any way to find out their type?)
    Happy Gardening,
    Shirley

  6. #6
    FB.'s Avatar
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    When the wind blows, the branches whip around and larger/heavier apples tend to break off the branches more easily, due to their large mass being tossed around.
    Some varieties are more prone to dropping their fruit for no apparent reason.
    Some varieties are prone to uneven ripening of the fruit, so that you need to pick just a few each day over a few week period - otherwise you get the ripe ones dropping and the unripe ones staying on the tree for much longer.
    Fruit is more likely to drop if it is pest-damaged.

    The best way to get them identified is to go to your local botanic garden "apple day" in the autumn.

  7. #7
    shirlthegirl43's Avatar
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    Thanks for that FB. Local botanic garden is gonna be fun
    Happy Gardening,
    Shirley

  8. #8
    dexterdoglancashire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirlthegirl43 View Post
    Thanks for that FB. Local botanic garden is gonna be fun
    Me too. Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to taste one which fell off the tree today - I'll see
    Bernie aka DDL

    Appreciate the little things in life because one day you will realise they are the big things

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