They sent beetles.
Japanese Beetle on an Apple Leaf
Japanese Beetles on my Yellow Delicious Apple Tree
Japanese Beetle on a Cherry Leaf
The Japanese Beetles showed up after all. These unwelcome pests will do their best to completely strip leaves down to their framework of veins. I know first-hand that they love apple and cherry trees, grape leaves, sweet potato leaves, corn silk, beans and more. They are an evil scourge and the only way (acceptable to me) to get rid of them seems to be picking them off by hand.
I pulled my cherries out of the freezer the other night, and got out my new cherry pitter. I pitted the fruit until I had a full quart of pitted cherries and then I tossed in a small handful of raspberries I had picked that same night. I was going to include a number of blackberries, but my wife ate them while I pitted the cherries. 😀
I ended up water-bath processing 7 four-ounce jars, 1 half-pint jar (shown in the photo), and two jars that went straight to the refrigerator. It’s delicious jam!
Two dwarf Northstar Cherry Trees. These are sour pie cherries. The trees are almost 5 feet tall and have been in the ground for 3 years, 1 month. They were ordered as single sticks about 2-3 feet tall in 2009.
I am about as happy as I can be with these cherries. The only way I could love these more would be if I had about 8 times as many trees. They will most likely end up in a pie. Gosh, I need a pitter.
As you may be able to see from this photo, most of the cherry flowers on my little trees did not get pollenated this year. It seems that somewhere between 10 and 20% of the blossoms have turned into green fruit. The rest of the flowers did not produce anything beyond the pretty white show they put on. The forecast calls for a 29 degree low overnight, so I’ll cover these (again) as a precaution.
I have been neglecting my seed starting room! I need to get this jungle tamed soon and then start some more things!
Meanwhile, the weather man is forecasting a low of 37 [edit: 35!] with possible frost tonight! I guess I’ll be covering as many flowers (strawberry, cherry, apple, berries) as I can with old sheets and blankets.
We are still 2 to 3 weeks away from our average last frost date. I really, really hope the warm weather holds out, for the sake of my fruit trees. A night below 30 degrees (F) could kill all these flowers and the fruit they bring.