Thursday, May 30, 2013

Apple in United States

The apple has been cultivated for nearly 2000 years in Europe with records dating back to Greece as early as 325 BC.

Apple cultivation in the United States has come a long way since the early American settlers brought with them seeds and some grafted trees of European varieties and introduced apples to the eastern coast of North America.

When the first English settlers in the South explored their surroundings, they found a profusion of wild fruits - grapes, persimmons, plums, and berries of all sorts. The only apple trees they found were crab apple trees that produced small, extremely sour fruit

Early settlers quickly remedied the situation by planting apple seeds brought from England. The first domestic apple trees of the New World grew from seeds.

Apple production in America remained very small until 1622 when the colonists imported honeybees from the mother country to help with the pollination that is essential to large-scale apple production.

Apple cultivation was later disseminated westward by Indian, traders, missionaries and the legendary Johnny Appleseed. Seedlings orchards were common in the South from the early 1600s until the mid 1800s.

This was a time of great movement of people and the opening of enormous new lands. In 1779, the French General Marquis de Lafayette entertained George Washington, general of the Continental Army, under the shade of an old apple tree for dinner and to map out strategy against the British in the Revolutionary war.

In 1824, Lafayette returned to the United States and was presented with walking cane carved from the same tree.

Commercial apple orchards as known today were practically nonexistent in North America until the beginning of the 20th century. Western New York and Virginia were the first places in which apple growing became successful business.
Apple in United States
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