If you’ve been at Meridian Playground recently, you may have noticed broken branches in the apple trees and even more apples on the ground than usual. In fact, three weeks ago one tree twisted apart and collapsed completely under the weight of a record-breaking crop of apples. Its neighbor is in real danger of splitting in half.
These fruit trees were planted soon after the Good Shepherd Center was built in 1905 so are too weak to bear the stress of thousands of pounds of apples. A group of volunteers thinned and bagged many of the apples last May but still too many apples remain on the trees.
Will you help take care of the trees and pick up apples on the ground?
City Fruit, with the support of Seattle Parks, is sponsoring a work party Sunday, August 24 from noon to 3. We’ll remove apples from trees that are particularly burdened, and pick up fruit on the ground in boxes and buckets. Meet in the NE corner of the orchard, north of the playground.
Volunteers are welcome to take apples home for cooking. Note that most of these apples are not ripe, and nearly all (except those that were bagged) have insect pest damage, which can easily be cut out. Unripe apples are not suitable for making cider or feeding to animals. We will leave the bagged fruit on the trees for harvest in the fall.
This cleanup effort will continue for the next two months, as long as the apples are falling.
City Fruit is a Seattle non-profit that harvests surplus fruit from residential trees and also cares for orchards on public property. If you want to help take care of the Meridian fruit trees on a regular basis, please sign up at the City Fruit volunteer web page.
And if you have extra fruit on your trees at home that you would like to donate, email [email protected]