April to May
Alexander the Great is credited with finding apples and bringing them back to Macedonia for cultivation.
The largest apple ever picked from a tree came from Caro, Michigan. It weighed three pounds, two ounces.
The Apple Blossom was named the Michigan state flower in 1897. The choice is fitting given the state’s long ties to the fruit. Michigan ranks third in the country in apple production, just behind Washington and New York. While Michigan’s orchards produce many varieties of apples, lawmakers singled out the flower of the pyrus coronaria, or crabapple, for the distinction of becoming the Michigan state flower.
Each April and May, crabapple trees burst out in delicate white and pink blossoms. The clustered flowers not only add color to otherwise green apple orchards, but also give off a valuable honeysuckle scent. The sweet fragrance attracts bees to orchards where they do the important job of pollinating. Apple growers often plant crabapple trees amongst their other apple varieties just for this purpose. After Apple Blossoms are pollinated, fruits begin to grow. The crabapple tree’s fruit reaches their maturity by late summer. The fruit of the pyrus coronaria is largely ornamental or used only in preservatives and jellies.
Apple orchards flourish off the shores of Lake Michigan where they benefit from the lake-influenced weather. Near Grand Rapids, flowers from the apple tree signal the arrival of the annual Blossomtime Festival. The event marks the arrival of Apple Blossoms as well as the harvest of the region’s grapes, melons, peaches, tomatoes and tart cherries.
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