Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Fall Fruit Trees on the Street August 28, 2008

Urban gardeners who want a sunny spot for fruit trees sometimes opt for the parking strip. Birds usually get to cherries first, plums drop fruit and are super messy, so most people (at least in our part of Seattle) seem to choose either pears or apples.

One neighbor has two pear trees in planter boxes on the street – they seem pretty disease-free and they have a lot of fruit this year:

Parking Strip Pears

Pear Tree in Planter Box

I am guessing that the raccoons, squirrels and (ew) rats get some, but there are enough left over for human consumption as well.

Another neighbor has lovely red apples ripening right now. Not sure of the variety, I know there are red Gravensteins that are getting ripe at the moment but it’s probably not that.

Parking Strip Apples

They seem to have something going on, maybe scab?? Apple maggots are also a real problem in our area. My folks have had success with putting “footies” (those little nylon demi-socks they give women to try on shoes if they have bare feet) on before the flies emerge and begin to lay eggs. It’s labor-intensive but seems to work quite well. For more information on this method, contact the Seattle Tree Fruit Society.

Lots of windfalls on the ground. Makes me sad to see fruit go to waste, but maybe these ones were no good.

Apple Pile in Parking Strip

Many communities have programs where volunteers will come to your house and pick whatever fruit you know you will not use, so it can go to the hungry. In Seattle, visit the Lettuce Link site for more information on their Community Fruit Tree Harvest.


6 Responses to “Fall Fruit Trees on the Street”

  1. What a great organization. I like that they take your excess for less fortunate. It’s kind of like “Plant a row for the hungry”.

  2. Cynthia Says:

    Oh wow, that pear tree is just loaded with fruit! I like the planter it is in. I’ll have to keep that in mind for my fig tree. Thanks for this interesting post. 🙂

  3. naturehills Says:

    Exciting to be reading more and more about homeowners growing their own fruit. Plus sharing with people that are in need of fresh fruit.

  4. greenwalks Says:

    Thanks for the comments! I always love seeing the fruit trees city folks grow, but do get dismayed when they aren’t well cared-for (pruned, thinned, actually harvested). With so many going hungry or eating crummy food, it seems a shame to waste anything. Maybe I will print out some info from Lettuce Link and stealth leaflet my neighbors who are the biggest culprits! 🙂

  5. Eric Bronson Says:

    Someone should use all those apples to make cider. Who cares about a few worms it’s protein right? Ha-hah the pear tree and the yard around it looks beautiful!

  6. greenwalks Says:

    Eric –

    Funny you say that… we are making cider this weekend! Not from rotten apples, though… my dad always joked about slugs on lettuce or worms in apples, “No charge for the extra protein!” 🙂

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