This tree descended from a Western Asian variety introduced by the Romans, and has become a national favourite since, with a wealth of garden varieties derived from rootstock in grafting. The wild apple can grow to 40’ no higher, with the crab apple; a member of the rose family, being smaller at around 25’.
The bark is brown and scaly, and at around 5-6 years old the tree begins to bear fruit.
The leaves are neat, green oval shaped with a tip at the end, and serrations along the edge. The length is usually about 2-3 inches.
The fragrant blossoms of the apple tree bloom in Springtime, in April and May. The flower blossom is five petaled and pink or white in colour. They are pollenated by bees, beetles, wasps, flies and some birds.
The apple tree fruit
The fruit matures in summer, and is picked in the Autumn. The apples vary in colour from green, yellow and red.
The apple tree fairy
It is the tree of immortality, for youth, long life, beauty, and is also the fairy that feeds the dead. The fairy of this tree “dispels all want and woe or weariness of the soul”.
Like most folklore, and believes, it is double edged. On one hand we gave half of our apple to show how much we loved the beloved, whilst on the other hand, as in the Snow white tale, one half could be given to a victim as poison.
The juice from the apple has been used for the cure of sprains. And, sliced apples were placed on saucers in tombs dating as far back as 5,000, to give cure for any wrong done in life, and as a safe passageway from time into Eternity. The apple slice was food for the deceased in more ways than one.
The juice from the apple is used in wines, oils, potions, incenses, furniture making though this was more limited as it is a softwood tree.
There are many stories associated with the apple tree. The three most famous are:
1. Sir. Isaac Newton (1726) contemplating a falling apple in the grounds of Woolsthorpe Manor. He saw the apple always fell to the centre never side ways, thus, the theory of gravity was born.
2. The story of Johnny Appleseed in America ( 1774-1845). A man known to be kind and gentle, who dreamt of planting apple trees everywhere so none would go hungry. He slept outdoors, walked barefoot, wore sack clothing and a tin pot hat, which he also used for cooking. In one hand he had a bible and in his pocked apple seeds.
3. The tree has also been associated with the Biblical story, as the tree of good and evil. Although the original fruit eaten by Adam and Eve would have been fig or pomegranate, it has been transferred over the decades to fruit of the apple tree.