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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Gold Medal for Trailside Apple Tree

Posted by | November 8, 2023 | Filed under: Program Activities

The reserve's apple ambassador, Tom Karb, went to the 4th annual Wild & Seedling Pomological Exhibition in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, last Friday.

The event draws people who enjoy exploring, harvesting, evaluating, and propagating fruit that is gathered rather than grown. Enthusiasts from across the continent are invited to submit "interesting or beloved" fruit varieties for tasting and judging at the exhibition. The 2023 candidates included more than 100 varieties.

Flyer for 4th annual Wild and Seedling Pomological Exhibition

Tom entered a sample of apples from one Wells Reserve tree in the friendly competition. As he was mapping and describing hundreds of apple trees around the reserve, he had discovered the fruits of this particular tree produced a "standout juice."

Tom's taste proved sound. The reserve's "Island in the Field" apple took the gold for Best Quality Cider at the exhibition.

Most or all of the reserve's apples are probably "wild and seedling" trees that are generations removed from the orchard apples of the former farm. Because grafting is the only way to propagate apples that will remain true to their variety, traits of these seed-scattered opportunists are impossible to predict. Some turn out desirable, others less so.

Congratulations to Tom for recognizing a great one.

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