Growing up as a farm child in the East of England I came to love the many varieties of apples in our garden; with evocative names, different flavours and ripening times; apple trees were my larders and leafy hiding places. These large trees, though largely neglected, were a glorious and fragrant food source for bees, reliably fruiting each year for the table, for canning and drying. We kept them in the cellar too, lying in boxes in layers separated by sheets of newspaper; these would be good right into Spring.
Coming to Canada, I was able to ground my love of apples as owner and chief pruner of a Certified Organic orchard in Lillooet. Now living in St Albert, I am happy to do all tree work though I most enjoy pruning apple trees.
Here in Alberta apple growers face a climate offering particular challenges - our growing season is relatively short; we can be very hot and dry in Summer and the first frosts often come before the later varieties ripen. For this reason, and for those who value the fruit, I will prune to let in as much sun as possible. Without sun the sugars don't develop and there's nothing rivals tree ripened fruit!