August 05, 2019

Touché, Dad

Now that the inside of our house is almost completely made over, there are some things I have been wanting to work on outside. My biggest is that I want a new front porch--ours is SO bad that it's probably dangerous.

Yesterday, I just had it with the loose boards moving around when I would walk on it (I hadn't fixed them because I kept thinking we'd get a new porch "soon") and I decided to screw the loose boards down. I got out my drill and started working on it.

While I was working, I glanced up and happened to notice an apple on my apple tree. It was big and red and looked perfect!

big red apple on my apple tree

First, the quick story of my experience with fruit trees...

I have always wanted an apple tree. That was one of the first things I bought when we moved in here, and I planted it in the front yard. Not even a couple of weeks later, some teenagers were walking around late at night and they ripped it out of the ground and it died. I bought another, and it started growing, but died for some unknown reason. Finally, I got one that grew for a couple of years and actually got a few apples on it!

My dad told me I should trim the ends of the branches to help it grow faster. I had no idea what that was about, but my dad has a decent garden and a cherry tree, so I just took his word. It died!

I started over again with another tree. My dad kept telling me about trimming it, and I told him never to touch my apple tree. It became a running joke between us, and he was always teasing me about the apple tree that took a decade to grow an apple, haha. Several years ago, my parents gave me a stick Asian pear tree. Asian pears are my FAVORITE fruit ever, and they are so expensive. I was thrilled!

the start of an Asian pear tree

I planted the stick in the ground, not expecting anything, but it grew. And it grew and it grew and it grew. Now, it's actually pretty big! It still hasn't flowered or given any fruit, so I must have done something wrong with it. I know you are supposed to cross pollinate fruit trees, but I didn't learn that until a few years after I had my trees.

Anyways, it was just another thing for my dad to tease me about. I have an Asian pear tree that is five years old and I've never grown a pear. This is what it looks like now; so crazy that it used to be a simple stick in the ground!

Six year old Asian pear tree

So, when I was working on the porch yesterday and I saw the perfect apple hanging from the tree, I was shocked. I got so excited to pick it before the bugs got at it!

I went over to the tree, and upon further inspection, I saw that I'd been had. Of course, it had to be my dad's doing!

Fake apple hanging to the tree by a rubber band

It made me laugh out loud, though, and then I had the idea to get him back by swapping it out with an orange. I threaded a rubber band through an orange with a crochet hook, and then I hung it on the tree. When my dad dropped my kids off a couple of hours later, he noticed a nice perfect orange "growing" on my tree, hahaha.

Who knows if I'll ever get any fruit from my trees. I do get a few apples each year, but they get eaten by bugs and birds before they even get big and ripe enough to eat.

Speaking of birds, I was nearly traumatized for life yesterday because of a bird that has been hanging around my house for a few weeks. It's a really big bird, and my kids have seen it once in a while sitting on the railing of my deck. I thought it sounded pretty cool, but I hadn't seen it yet.

Yesterday morning, Eli and I were sitting outside on the deck with some walnuts to feed the squirrels. All of a sudden the bird flew over our heads and into the tree across the alley. I was trying to get a good look when Eli said, "I think it's looking at that squirrel on the next tree". I didn't think much of that, because the bird was about the same size as the squirrel, so I didn't think it would try to hurt the squirrel.

I don't know anything about birds, but Eli told me it was a hawk. Then we saw it fly to a branch that was closer to the squirrel, who was minding his own business. I started to get nervous, and Eli asked if he should go scare it away by making noise. I said yes, and he started walking across the alley. Suddenly, I saw the hawk swoop down to the squirrel and grab it!

I panicked and instantly banged on the deck railing as hard as I could to make some noise. Almost as soon as the hawk had picked up the squirrel, he dropped it and flew off away from us. Thankfully, it did not carry the squirrel away. Still, I was horrified!

I read a little about hawks yesterday after that happened, and I saw that they may hang around bird feeders--not for the bird seed, but for the birds themselves! Since we got the bird feeder recently, I wonder if that's what attracted it. I definitely don't want it grabbing my beloved squirrels, so I took the bird feeder down. I hope I don't see it again. My squirrels are one of my biggest joys.

Anyway, any tips on growing a fruit tree? Particularly an Asian pear tree? I would love to grow my own Asian pears.


  1. Omg your dad is too funny! That apple really made me laugh! Good comeback with the orange though! ;) Hawks can be nasty. I know its the circle of life and all that but I've seen them grab baby birds and bunnies and it just breaks my heart :(

  2. Your dad sounds like a lot of fun! I've had apple trees but never planted any myself. We saw a hawk fly over here last week. It's good you were able to scare it into dropping the squirrel.

  3. Your Dad is a hoot! I can't believe he did that with the apple! We planted a bunch of fruit trees (and when I say "We," I mean "my husband") when we moved here to our acreage in 1992. We have enjoyed apples, pears, peaches and cherries, but not every year. It's crazy, how sometimes we get abundant fruit from a tree and the next year nothing. So I've got no clue how to get your pear and apple trees to produce fruit. But thanks for brightening my day with the story of your Dad "planting" an apple in your tree.

  4. You asian pears, me sour apples (for apple strudel) and raspberries, and we both have a lot to learn. Listen to your dad about pruning the tree. If it gets too high, you can't harvest them. My tree has exactly 5 apples. no raspberries this year because I cut down the bush, and raspberries produce every 2 years. Good luck!!

  5. I have to say that the joke of the perfect apple in your tree is hilarious! I wonder how long that apple had been hanging there before you noticed it? That's a good family joke. :)

  6. Ahh your dad is awesome! That sounds like something I would do haha!

  7. That is terrifying about the hawk! I’m so glad you saved it!

    Did you know that scene with your dad is straight out of a movie? It’s one of my favorite faborures! “Away we go” with John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. They’re having a baby and travel the country trying to decide where they should put down roots. Maya tells the story of fruit tree they had growing up that wouldn’t be grow fruit! The kids snuck out one night and tied plastic fruit to it to surprise her dad. It’s part of the story!

    I really love that movie and really recommend it! It’s worth renting!

  8. This made my day, had me in bits. what a great family you have

  9. that is hilarious. No tips on growing fruit trees. We live in Sacramento where everyone is nuts about their gardening and we can't grow anything. We are trying to grow tomatoes out of containers, but it isn't going well. Luckily we have lots of Farmer's markets to get fruit and veggies from.


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