A TREASURE OF A TREE
A Cortland apple tree has stood on this property for many decades. It's age is hard to determine exactly but I'm told that it is over 60 years old. Fruit trees surviving this long are considered a rarity. The Cortland has been apart of our family for generations. It has made shade for picnics on hot summer evenings when the kitchen was too stuffy from canning, it's been the guest of honor for countless "apple picking days" where grandchildren remember reaching for the loftiest prizes from a kind neighbor's tractor scoop, and its fruit has been the coveted secret to the best applesauce and pie filling Grandma has ever made; however, all great eras come to an end and the last few seasons have yielded very little fruit from this longtime friend.
The sweetness of this tree's fruit is unrivaled by other Cortland apples. Knowing the heirloom was nearing extinction, I took my concerns to a trusted Amish friend. She told me that one of her apple trees had fallen in a windstorm and gave me the name of an Amish orchardist who had grafted a fresh shoot from her tree to a larger tree. Being surprised (I thought every fruit tree was started from seed) I took the name and went on. After discussing my concerns with the orchard owner, he agreed to look at the tree.