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    The Death of "Big Red"

    When I moved from an apartment building to my new home 13 years ago an elderly gentleman gave me a check for $100 as a house warming gift.  He said he had appreciated the nice things I had done for him during the time we were neighbors.  I spent the money on planting several fruit trees in my back yard.

    I do my best to maintain an organic garden and that also applies to my fruit trees.  Since growing fruit trees was completely new to me I'm sure my care of them could have been better.  I learn as I go.  Six years ago my purple plum tree died of some sort of disease.  Two years later my red plum tree died (probably of the same disease).  Not to be wasteful, those trees provided lots of wood for the smoker.  Plum wood is a mild smoking wood and made lots of tastey briskets, ribs, and pulled pork.

    Now "Big Red" has gone the way of the plum trees and will be providing the barrel smoker many loads of wood next year.  A strong thunderstorm blew through 3 nights ago at about 4 am.  It was strong enough to wake me up.  The trees were really blowing around.  In the morning I went out back and saw that "Big Red" didn't make it.


    On closer inspection it was just as well that the storm took it out.  It was dieing from the inside out.

    I hadn't paid much attention to the trees this year as only my Kiefer pear tree has any fruit because of the bad weather.  This had been my best producing tree.  Usually loads of Red Delicious apples.  I gave away lots every year.  I mostly gave them to a woman at work that made them into applesauce.  In exchange for the apples she would give me a dozen quarts of applesauce.  The apples were so sweet that she never had to add any sugar, which is good for me since I have type 2 diabetes and try to watch what I eat.  Glad I still have several quarts in the pantry.

    So long "Big Red". 


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