May. 24, 2018

apple, Malus pumila

Do we think of the spread of garden species as something kind of careless and random? Apples are a great example of the truth and the lie to that. Certainly they are randomly scattered by all of us who leave cores in our wake. But much of the process has been a lot more deliberate. Witness Johnny Appleseed. John Chapman (1774-1845) was very different than the apocryphal character of childhood stories. He did wander the northeast, leaving apples in his wake. John was a nurseryman. He traveled to establish new sites in his chain of commercial apple nurseries. Each new site was left in the care of someone who sold trees on shares. Nothing careless or random about John Chapman! Apples now grow almost anywhere. They're apparently not reported from AZ, FL, HI, ID, OK, SD, TX, AB, NT, NU, SK, YT, and GL. Lenawee Co MI, 5/11/11.