Table of contents:
Video: The Apple Tree Is Wild. History. Varieties. Kinds. Selection. Fruit And Berry. Trees. Garden Plants. A Photo
In European deciduous and even pine forests, you can often find a short tree with a rounded crown and often thorny branches. From spring to autumn, the tree is covered with small oblong leaves, in winter the trees are completely bare. Every time, before dressing up in young foliage, they are completely covered with milky pinkish flowers.
“There is no better color when the apple tree blooms,” the song says. “But isn't the song dedicated to a cultivated garden apple? What does the wild, forest apple tree have to do with it? " some all-knowing gardening enthusiast will immediately object.
Every gardener knows that among fruit plants of temperate latitudes, the apple tree belongs to the first place in terms of area and yield. Apple orchards in all countries occupy about 3 million hectares, and their annual harvests exceed 11 million tons of juicy tasty fruits. At least 80 percent of our garden trees are apple trees. This is all true. Maybe the song is only about the garden apple, but the cultivated varieties ultimately come from the same wild forms of the amazing tree - the forest apple. Amazing first of all by its fate.
The wild apple tree belongs to those happy representatives of the plant world, to which a person drew attention when he took his first steps on Earth. The fruits of wild apple trees are edible soon after setting, are readily available, hang on the tree for a long time, and are excellently preserved throughout the winter in fallen leaves. Naturally, the apple tree was among the first plants cultivated by man. Images of apples or their remains were also found during excavations of pile structures, apples are also depicted on many monuments of Egypt, they are mentioned in ancient myths and legends.
Ancient Greece is considered to be the cradle of apple culture. Theophrastus wrote an essay on fruit growing, where the apple tree is given a place of honor. The writers of Ancient Rome - Cato, and then Varro, Columella and Pliny the Elder - talk about 36 varieties of apple that were cultivated at that time. From Greece and Rome, the apple tree culture spread throughout Western Europe, and then around the world.
It is noteworthy that among the Greeks and Romans, the apple served as a symbol of love and was dedicated to the goddess of beauty, while the ancient Germans believed that the apple tree enjoyed the protection of all gods, and the apple was their favorite food. That is why the evil god of the storm, Donar, did not dare to touch the apple tree, but threw his formidable spears-lightning into other trees. Enterprising Germans, protecting themselves from formidable lightning, planted their homes with apple trees.
© H. Zell
Even the word “paradise” in Celtic means “the land of apples” (avalon), and the biblical myth says that Eve picked an apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
One of the variants of the ancient Greek myths tells about the wedding of the Thessalian king Peleus, where all the gods were invited, except for the goddess of strife Eris. Offended, Eris, in the midst of the fun, threw a golden apple with the inscription "The Most Beautiful" to the guests. It is clear that a dispute immediately arose as to which of the goddesses it should belong to, since all three guests were famous for their beauty: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. The goddesses were so good that even Zeus could not give preference to any of them. He instructed Hermes to take the goddesses to the shepherd Paris, so that he would resolve the protracted dispute. Paris gave the apple to Aphrodite. Since then, Hera and Athena have come to hate Paris, as well as Troy and all the Trojans. They decided to destroy Troy and all the people. So the wonderful golden fruit became a bone of contention.
Apple culture has been known for over 4000 years. In Europe, at the beginning of the 18th century, there were only 60 varieties of apple trees, but among them were the wonderful varieties of Calvil White and Stettin Red that have survived to this day. It is believed that our cultivated apple tree appeared in the monastery gardens of Kievan Rus in the 11th-12th centuries, although Herodotus, who traveled across Scythia in the 5th century BC, wrote that he saw garden trees there. Particularly famous in Russia was the apple orchard, founded by Yaroslav the Wise (in 1051) and later known as the garden
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. Moscow gardens are mentioned in written documents of the 14th century, and in Domostroy the first tips for garden maintenance are already given.
In the second half of the 18th century, the famous Russian agronomist A.T. Bolotov compiled the first, but excellent not only for that time, eight-volume scientific description, numbering over 600 original varieties of apple trees.
Academician V. V. Pashkevich, I. V. Michurin, JI. P. Simirenko and many Soviet fruit-growing scientists.
Now the apple tree has taken root in our vast territory from Lake Onega to the southern borders, and in the east - to Lake Baikal, then throughout the Primorsky Territory. There are so many magnificent apple trees among 10 thousand cultivated varieties! Through many years of work of breeders, varieties have been bred in which apples reach 600 (Antonovka six hundred grams), or even 930 grams (knysh). Many varieties yield a ton or more from one tree. And apples are the most valuable food product. Not to mention their high taste, dietary and even medicinal properties, their nutritional value, apples are used to make juices, jam, preserves, compotes, and wines. Finally, apples are dried and soaked, and many winter varieties are kept fresh until the next harvest.
© H. Zell
It is curious that the apple tree is not very popular in the tropics: it is not found in natural conditions, but in culture it gives not very tasty fruits or does not bear fruit at all. Northern and southern apples also differ in our country: in the middle lane they have a high acidity (for example, the Antonovka variety), and the southern varieties are characterized by sugar content.
However, we are again distracted from the modest wild-growing apple trees. The basis for obtaining 10 thousand cultivars of apple trees were only 8-10 wild-growing species, primarily the forest apple tree and the berry apple tree, and in total there are about 70 species of botanists. Especially plastic was the apple tree, or Chinese. Using it as a parental form, IV Michurin obtained wonderful varieties: kandil-kitaika, bellefleur-kitaika, saffron pepin, saffron-kitaika, seedless Michurin and others. Wild Siberian and Nedzvetsky apple trees also distinguished themselves. The first is not afraid of any frost and annually gives bountiful harvests of apples, very small, like peas. They are very decorative, but taste good only after freezing. The apple tree of Nedzvetsky from Central Asia is unusually red in color of the skin, pulp of the fruit, seeds, foliage and flowers,even young bark and wood are reddish. IV Michurin skillfully used its color and brought out a number of varieties with delicious red meat fruits: red bellefler, record bellefleur, Komsomolets, red standard and others.
Sometimes nature endows with an interesting anomaly and our usual forest apple tree. If you happened to ask the first resident of the village of Andreevka, Sumy region, about local attractions, you would first of all be advised to see "Yabluneve Dyvo", "Twisted Yablunya" or "Intriguing Tree" All these names refer to a 150-year-old apple tree that has grown over an area of almost half a hectare. So now stands not the garden, not the forest, in the middle of which an apple tree rises, closely surrounded by dozens of apple-tree daughters. For a long time, people are surprised at the ability of the branches of this apple tree, falling to the ground, to easily root and give rise to new plants. By the way, the appearance of the branches of the miracle apple tree is unusual: they are twisted like a corkscrew.
© Evelyn Simak
Andreevskaya apple-tree garden is closely monitored by Ukrainian scientists-gardeners, it was also known to IV Michurin, who wrote out its cuttings. A similar apple orchard of 600 apple trees, the progenitor of which was one tree, was recently discovered by botanists during a scientific expedition in the Tien Shan.