So far, this winter has been extraordinary mild, two short cold snaps with truly icy temperatures notwithstanding. There has also been no snow to speak of (yet). Thus, the first winter aconites bloomed already a couple of weeks ago.
We have some sad news: On the 18th of January, a team of tree specialists arrived to cut down our good old apple tree. The poor tree had been ailing for many years. Branch after branch succumbed to a fungal infection and died. Unfortunately, fruit trees are not like oak trees that can live for centuries. Most apple trees are healthy and productive for only about 40 years. Our tree was probably planted more than 50 years ago (we don’t know for sure since it was already there when LaGuardia Corner Garden moved to its present location). It was thus really at the end of its life.
Sadly, the same fate befell the peach tree. It, too, had been sick for a while. Last year, we still harvested a small crop of wonderful peaches, but one branch cracked this fall. Upon closer inspection, the arborist found a fungus near the base of the trunk. There was nothing we could do to save it.
We will surely miss the peaches and apples. However, we also have the opportunity to redesign the area next to our front gate and plant something new. As gardeners, we are aware of the natural circle of life. A seed germinates, the plant grows, flowers, bears fruit and finally dies. Both trees brought us much joy and will not be forgotten.