Monday, August 25, 2008

The Last Harvest

Two peach trees stand, old and proud, at the fenceline of our back yard. Sadly, one has reached its end. It has sputtered and struggled, putting out no more than twenty or so lovely and delicious fruit since we moved in. I suspect it's been there since the house was built and those fifty years have taken their toll. Its trunk is a mess of insect holes and every spring I am forced to trim a dead limb from it.

This summer it was remarkably proficient, delivering an abundance of white peaches so heavy and so numerous that the limbs bowed. We could not eat them all. A week or so after the last picking the leaves on that main branch began to wither and yellow. Since then they have all died away; nutrients and water no longer flowing to them. A push on the trunk this morning revealed rot so severe that I could easily pull it entirely from the earth. Its last gift to us was this summer's prolific harvest - a harvest that I now regret having taken for granted. The old tree will come out this weekend.

Maybe I can replace it with another white peach tree, but I suspect that they won't taste the same. It is just a tree, but I'm surprised at just how sad I am about it.


Blaize said...

Maybe because it's not just a tree, as your second paragraph so aptly demonstrates.

I think you could find an older variety of white peach. Nurseries are definitely fulfilling the desire for heirloom varieties these days.

I don't exactly know where you live, but here is an example of a place that would be good to call in reference to peach trees.

I found this place by searching on Google using the following phrase:
Sacramento nursery heirloom "fruit trees"

Good luck. You deserve another tree to take care of.

arlopop said...

Thank you, Blaize. I will look into it.