[NAFEX] feral apples

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Sun May 2 00:08:50 EDT 2004

Here in Oregon you can find lots of them along back roads.  Not far from me
is a park that was a settlement in the 1800's until it was flooded out.
While there is no sign of any of the settlement, there are still many old
apple trees on the land.
   One of the best tips I know of for serious searchers is to get aerial
maps and look for the sites of old homes.  You will often find old apple
trees near the sites of settler's cabins and such.  In the case of American
persimmons, some very good ones have been found near ancient Indian
encampments, since the Indians brought the best fruits they found back to
camp, then dumped the seeds in their trash heaps, to grow up into trees with
superior genes.
   One of the experts in finding escaped apples is Richard Fahey, listed as
the chairman of the apple Interest group in POMONA.  You can only contact
him by mail, though.  He lives a totally back-to-the-land life and has no

 Part of the lore I have picked up about NAFEX is that, in the old days
at least, members were oftentimes literal "fruit explorers", seeking out
rare specimens in the wilderness areas and trekking through the
backwoods to find abandoned orchards for those heirloom varieties.

 My question relates to the latter activity:  where does one look for
stands of old apple trees?  Did y'all compile a guidebook or list?  I'd
love to make some day trips this fall seeking out old Southern apples in
the Blue Ridge or Southern Appalachians.  How would I begin to locate
such places?

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