Magpies ate my apples!

Four years ago, I grafted several varieties of edible apples on the upper limbs of an old decorative crab apple tree in our yard. This was the first year that it was loaded with nice, big beautiful apples. I had been sampling one a week, checking for ripeness and was planning on harvesting them this afternoon when my grand kids got off the school bus. This morning, I looked out the window and discovered the tree totally covered in magpies! The Honeycrisp and Wealthy’s were almost completely destroyed, I did find a spot or two that I could steal a bite and see how good they would have tasted! There was one giant Wolf River apple they had ignored so I ate it, but it was not quite ready yet. I’m guessing that there would have been at least a bushel of apples had I picked them last week. Maybe next year…

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Oh, how aggravating! Do you think you’ll bag next year?

Yes! I think that will be necessary! This tree is an old sour crab in my yard that I top worked to convert to eating type apples. Six years ago, I established a small home orchard about 100 yards away. Those trees are about 8 feet tall now and are just beginning to bear a little fruit. I hadn’t had any bird damage there, so I had gotten over confident!

Good luck next year!

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