The end of Mortal Tree

A crumb of hurricane made its way through our small valley, throwing Mortal Tree to the ground.

I mean the dead apple tree in the center of Mortal Tree, which gave the food forest, and this blog, its name. It’s been over 7 years since the cruel pruning of the former owners killed the poor apple. You can find out more about its backstory here. The gust broke off the dead tree at ground level, leaving no stump at all.

I had hoped the tree would just decay to nothing, slowly, rather than breaking under the weight of years like this. I wanted to use it as trellis for a grape that’s just taking off at its now cracked off base.

It’s a “Canadace,” red, seedless grape. The vines actually meandered through the tall grass nearby, hiding quite respectable clusters of table grapes from birds this year.

Red “Canadace” table grapes on a bed of snow peaches.

Most surprising about this harvest was the flavor. Grapes at the store are just sweet. These had a rich, spicy bite, swimming in a gush of sweetness. I have never tasted such a fine grape.

In a peach tree just a few feet over, I have a “Marquette,” blue, seeded grape. It has a notably high brix (sugar content) for making wine. This was the first year it produced heavily. Despite the annoying seed, and small fruit to begin with, it also had astonishing character of flavor -sugar-sweet was just a pleasant base note.

The Marquette is several years older than the Canadace. As you tell, it’s getting with program, using the tree as a trellis.

So I’d better get something growing in the center of the garden to trellis the Canadace. I’m thinking a fig, which I’m finding much success air layering again. I have too many peaches. You can see some of the harvest from one of my snow peaches in the basket above. A quality apple like Ashmead’s Kernal might work. Or maybe an N-fixer? Mimosa? I could cut it, and the grape, back once in a while to keep things from getting out of hand -literally and figuratively.

I’d love to hear your suggestions.


  1. Gosh, how awful to lose your tree. I’d say you choose a replacement that you want more of or something which will complement what you already have.


    1. Oh. Now I had not thought of that. Most nuts get a little large for the planting in that spot. But there are dwarf oaks and chestnuts…. I wonder how how many mini nuts there are? Hazel of course. You may have just elicited a new post subject. Thanks. >

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re welcome, Have fun choosing anyway! We had a bumper year for hazels this year and I got my first hazelnuts from trees planted myself. No squirrels on Skye…


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