[NAFEX] Introduction of apples to North America

rob hamilton lostman_amiga at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 11 18:00:02 EST 2007

This site states:
"         When the English colonists arrived in North America they found only crab    apples. Crab apple trees are the only    native apples to the United States. European settlers arrived and    brought with them their English customs and favorite fruits. In colonial    time, apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth. 
         1622 - Most historians fail to mention that those early    orchards produced very few apples because there were no honey bees.     Historical information indicates that colonies of honey bees were    shipped from England and landed in the Colony of Virginia early in 1622.    One or more shipments were made to Massachusetts between 1630 and 1633,    others probably between 1633 and 1638. The Indians called the honeybees    "English flies" and/or “white man’s flies.” 

So does this mean that crab apples were not very productive either or are they more open to other types of pollinators?
Also I thought our native bees are very active during the apple flowering season and are now used for some apple production.
Though I can understand how honey bees would increase production, 
I would assume the native bees would still plenty of habitat to thrive and serve well.

I was also under the impression that Native Americans had there own types of fruit orchards before the Europeans arrived (whether there were crabapples or some other type of fruit...I dont know. 
 Am I wrong in all these assumptions?


dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com wrote: There is a good history of apples found at 
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Fruit/Apples.htm by Linda Stradley with 
references sited for those interested.

Dennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm Orchard
----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:03 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] Introduction of apples to North America

>I understand that apples are not native to the Americas.  Who brought them?
> Champlain wrote in 1605 that "the cold was so intense that the cider was 
> divided by
> an axe..." (not clear whether this cider had been brewed in New France, or 
> brought
> with them from France.)  He also records taking fruit trees with him in 
> 1606 to plant
> in Quebec.  Poutrincourt made a number of trips between France and Acadie
> between 1605 and 1610, bringing "seeds of all kinds", and Lescarbot in 
> 1610,
> writing about the Port Royal habitation, makes reference to the good 
> harvest that
> year "except for the trees they planted, which are not so prompt in 
> bearing". Simon
> de Rasilly, who established Fort Ste. Marie de Grace at the mouth of the 
> LaHave
> River in Nova Scotia, (about 5 km. from my present day house), in 1632, 
> recorded
> in his diary planting apple trees to supply the fort with cider, and 
> Nicolas Denys in
> 1635 reported seeing several apple and pear trees, well rooted and in good
> condition at Port LaTour, across the river from the Fort. He also makes 
> reference to
> "apple and pear trees which are well started but not yet in condition to 
> bear, since
> they were brought small from France", (suggesting that they were not just 
> planting
> seeds, but importing grafted trees.) Were these men responsible for 
> introducing
> apples to North America, or were they preceded by British settlers in the 
> Virginias?
> Or even earlier?  (I am embarrased by my ignorance of early European 
> settlement
> of North America.)

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