The Story of the 23 Old Parker Hill Apple Trees
Bill Taylor is a horticulturist and environmental/social activist who noticed the abundance of large, old apple trees in the McLaughlin woodlands. In the 1980’s and 90’s Bill began taking care of the trees. He mapped their location, described their fruit, and grafted some of the best fruit producers. Below is a description of some of those apples he made twenty years ago in 2001. This year, in response to inquiries about the health of the apples and offers to help take care of them, the remaining old apple trees were pruned of deadwood. Fire blight (a bacterial disease) , age, drought and high summer temperatures have taken their toll, but most continue to live on. The old apples were numbered with attached signs this spring. Starting with #1 near the steps going up to McLaughlin across from Bucknam St, the trees can be seen walking down Fisher Ave. #12 is next to the smaller set of stairs going up to the park to the Little League Field. The trail of trees loops back on the ‘back path’ above and parallel to Fisher Ave. #23 is across Parker Hill Avenue above the Iroquois Woods natural area. Look for fruit to start appearing as early as July.
Very sweet, yellow, mild flavor, a small-medium roundish. Aug-Sept. Excellent as sweetner with other apples for cooking. One “sport” or grafted limb with red medium-sized apples, ok.
Small-medium, red, mild red delicious taste, sweet. Aug-Sept
Elongated medium-large sweet, subacid with hint of bitter, thick skin, disease and insect resistant. Good eating.
Deep red, squat, sweet, med-large. September
Sweet, astringent, small-medium red. August.
Yellow-green with red blush, medium-lare, roundish to squat. Banana-like flavor. Susceptible to disease and insects. “Mission Hill Banana”
Large, mild, crisp, red with yellow-green stripes, yellow blush. Disease and insect resistant. October. “Mission Hill Striped”.
Medium-large, mealy, sweet, good flavor but bad keeper- good sauce apple. August
Very large, tart, flavorful. Insect-susceptible.
Medium, astringent, sweet and bitter, fair-poor flavor. August-September.
Large, sweet spicy to slightly bitter. Very firm texture, robust. August-September. “Mission Hill Deep Red”.
Small-medium, bland to slightly bitter, very astringent. September- October
Medium-large, pink-tan with red blush, a bit mealy, flavorful. September.
Small-medium, astringent, sweet, red blush – yellow. August-September. Young tree
Medium, roundish bland to bitter. Fair flavor. August
Small, red blush, sweet, subacid to astringent.