Thursday, September 22, 2016

Working In the Park- Apple Trees and the CCC

It is Time to do Some Dam Work
I thought that title was pretty clever, but it is true. The lake will soon be drained as low as it is during the silt run to allow for work on the main gate.
We were in the park hiking on Monday, and the crews were bringing in equipment. I will keep everyone posted as to the progress and park accessibility.

Red Cliff Trail & Apple Trees
My wife and I first hiked the Red Cliff Trail more than 30 years ago and distinctly remember several apple trees near the walk bridge at the low point on the trail. The past few years we have looked and have been unable to find any sign of the trees. Well thanks to some friends, we have found, a single, quite large, apple tree in the area.
Now I would like to know how and who. Who planted it? The tree sets in heavy growth, all alone, meaning either it is self-pollinating, or we just did not find another. It is a foot or more in diameter and looks to be 20 or more feet tall, a fair size for and apple. And it produced apples.
There were a bushel or more on the ground and many still on the tree. We each tried one, and they were quite good.

Did the CCC Plant it?
As Shakespeare once said, that is the question, who planted it. We know the Civilian Conservation Corps planted millions of trees nationwide and hundreds in Guernsey State Park. Did they plant apple trees along this area of the trail long called the enchanted forest? I hope so. It would be interesting to find this trees story, is it old enough to have been here nearly a 100 years? Some of the old fruit trees did last a century or more. Maybe it could have grown naturally from a fallen apple from a CCC planted tree. Not sure anyone knows but it does make the hike interesting and the munching deer happy to have apples along the way. A few years ago, as part of my Master Gardener training, we grafted fruit trees and listened to an expert talk about historical fruit trees in the state. Think I will look him up and see what he has to say.
The Apples Tasted Pretty Good