Author Archives: loribrakken

Oct 31st – Apple Identification Meeting

Time: 3:30 to 5:30pm – After the STFS’s 2010 Fall Fruit Show

Location: Center for Urban Horticulture – Main Hall Only, 3501 Northeast 41st St, Seattle, 98195


Please join us for a discussion of apple identification techniques and where our ‘expert’ apple id people are at these days with their skills.  We hope to discuss the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of apple identification.  STFS is developing an apple id key for the STFS website that will be open and free for all to use in identifying apples in the Pacific Northwest.  This meeting is important to the development of that site in that it be relevant to what the users will need.  Please come if you are interested. 

2010 Fall Fruit Show

10am to 3pm Oct 31st  Seattle Tree Fruit Society’s 2010 Fall Fruit Show

3:30-5:30pm Apple Id Meeting

Location: Center for Urban Horticulture – Main Hall Only, 3501 Northeast 41st St, Seattle, 98195

Cost: $2 indiv/$5 family, Free STFS, WCFS groups free to volunteers

Fruit Tasting: Bring your garden fruit (labeled) to the show to show what we grow.  Many varieties will be on display for tasting.

Lectures: Heritage Apple ID, Cultivars ID, Edible Landscap’g/or Container Kiwi, Container Fruit Production

Vendors: Tom Wood is bringing fruit for sale, Raintree’s plants, Bob Hartman’s tasting of varieties for sale, WWFRF apples for sale, Tasting of Larry Davis’s Jams, jellies, & baked goods, mason bee goods, STFS Library, Maggot Barrier sales, Apple Posters, City Fruit,

Fruit ID: Bring 3-4 samples (unwashed), no leaves needed.  Keep them refrigerated until the Show.

Apple ID Contest: with prizes!  To challenge our identification skills.

Kids Crafts: Creative projects for the kids.  Hey it’s Halloween.  Bring the family.

Tool sharpening: Bring your tools, knives, sissors – to be expertly sharpened.  $ Donations for STFS.

Volunteer Potluck: Bring your food items to share for volunteers.

Save your fruit for the Show

It’s time to show the Pacific Northwest what we can grow!  Save your fruit for our Fall Fruit Show on Oct 31st.  Please let Laure know what you can bring

Fruit ID at our Fall Fruit Show

Are you curious about what that apple tree in your yard’s name is?  Do you know of an apple in a local park that produces fruit you love and you’d like to get a name on it?  What is the name of that apple?  Well, now is your chance to get that fruit identified.  Put 3-4 pieces of unwashed fruit, no leaves are necessary, in a plastic bag in your refrigerator or cool place and keep it fresh until our Fall Fruit Show on Oct 31st, 10-3pm.  Bring in your fruit to be identified (that’s fruit, not family members).  This year we will have several experts identifying fruit at the same time so we hope there will be no long lines.  Bring it in.  Let’s see it.

Volunteer at Puyallup Fair for WCFS

Now thru Sept 26th – The Puyallup Fair is going on… Our Western Cascade Fruit Society parent organization is represented there every year by our Volunteers.  We need you to volunteer for this.  If you want to get a free pass to the fair and can volunteer in the booth, please call Bill Horn Phone 253-770-0485 or Henri Carnay Phone  253-568-6494 of the Tahoma Fruit Club.  The Tahoma chapter organizes the booth every year.  Thank you!

Fall Beeline

The Fall BeeLine 2010 has been posted to the Western Cascade Fruit Society website.
To read the BeeLine go to  Click on Newsletters under Members only on the left side of the screen. Fall BeeLine 2010 will appear in the center of the screen. Click on this and you may or may not be asked for a password. Remember the password is Apple, with an upper case A.  You will get to a new screen and there you click on Fall BeeLine 2010.

2010 Fall Fruit Show in Planning Stages

Check out the first flier:fall-fruit-show-083110

We have the initial plans for the Fall Fruit Show this year.  It will be on Sunday,October 31st, 10am-3pm at the Center for Urban Horticulture. 

Laure has taken the lead of Fruit Collection and the Tasting Tables.  Anyone wishing to help with this, please let us know.   Save your fruit for the show and let us know what you have.  It is so nice to see what we are producing from our gardens. 

Mike is putting together the lectures.  We are emphasizing on Apple ID lectures, but also are looking for lecturers on Container Fruit Growing and Edible Landscaping. 

Judy has taken on the Kids Creative Activities.  Since this is Halloween it would be fun for kids to have crafts and fun.  We want to make this a family event.

Please let us know if there is anything you can do to help out with the show.

Fruitfully Yours,  Lori

SUMMER GARDEN TOURS- Saturday – August 29, 2010

A big thanks to all our members who participated in the July garden tours. The gardens were beautiful and it was a great opportunity to discuss our fruit interests: varieties, insects, soils, diseases. pollination and climate!  Thank you for all your gardening work and sharing with us!

For addresses and location information email

Garden #1 – George Krasle
I have finally gotten to a new Place of my Own, in Woodinville. And I have found a real paradise-in-the-making: six acres in unincorporated King County just outside Woodinville, about half in disused pasture, with a stream, an orchard in need of restoration/identification, and all the space I could ever hope for.  I intend to seriously indulge in horticulture there. Right now my priorities are getting the Orchid and Cactus and Tropicals greenhouses moved/constructed, plants from the old yard moved, beds prepared for the trilliums and other woodland flowers, a vegetable garden for the 25 tomato varieties I have from seed, etc (all after actually getting moved-in, of course). The orchard needs inspection, advice and work, I need to plan the landscape, and get my many trees, etc, in pots or from the old house planted. I would love to have some experts come and advise me, and to show-off all my plants/plantings.


Garden #2 – Don Ricks – Horizonview Fruit Tree Steward 

Location: Horizon View Park 19800 47th Ave NE (198th St at 47th Ave NE)

Time: Please meet at the Park at 3:00 pm for a tour of the park’s fruit trees and Don’s caretaking.

Directions:  Exit the freeway at 205th Street NE; Turn right at NW 205th St/Lake Ballinger Way; Continue onto Ballinger Way NE for 0.7 miles; Take a slight left at NE 195th Street; Turn left at 35th Ave NE; Take the 1st right onto 40th Pl NE; Take a slight left at NE 197th Street; Continue onto NE 201st Place; Turn left at 47th Ave NE. Your destination will be on the right

“ What I would like to show is the 10 trees that I am reclaiming by pruning and in some cases cutting back from the brambles and blackberry bushes there at this Lake Forest Park location….it is near my home and very near Lori’s…….I am also putting foot sox on some of the apples and trying to discover the varieties…..the thing that may interest some of the STFS people is that I put different colored foot sox on at different times….all the way up to mid-July to see what will work at what times to protect against the flies…..this park is at a high elevation and the apple maggot flies seem to be late there… I am interested in the results….the question of how late we can apply the foot sox (or spray) should be a question of interest.” ~Don Ricks

Garden #3 – Lori Brakken

Time: 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm (note that the Potluck Fall Fruit Show Planning starts here at 5:00 pm) 

 Lori has an espalier fence with more than 40 apple trees growing in an elevated bed., supported by bamboo trellising. She has grafted additional varieties to the espaliered trees, so she now has about twice that many varieties of pomme fruit wood. She also grows grapes, blueberries, persimmon, apricots, and plums. These are all new plantings.


QUESTION: I have noticed insect infestations in the plum trees this summer. We have an Imperial Epineuse plum tree that is covered with sticky sap and thousands of little white insects. I began to wonder what these insects are, and asked our local insect experts.


ANSWER: We canvassed the local prunus, from our two “Italian prunes” to the neighbor’s wild Italian type to some ornamental prunus on the Seattle U campus last night. One tree was infested with white apple leafhopper which took off in clouds when a branch was disturbed. These critters go thru 5 instars and leave their little white shells on the leaves. Both as larvae and as adults, their body shape is torpedo. Leaves can get that stippled look from their early season feeding. In spite of their name they will infest plums too.

A similar insect is the potato leafhopper which the experts ID by the nymphs being able to move sideways as well as forward and backward! The fruit pickers hate them because their faces are right by the leaves so they get them in their eyes, ears, etc., while picking.

The neighbor’s wild Italian type plum is terribly infested with what we are assuming is the mealy plum aphid because it has a powdery coating. But some leaves higher up and out of reach are getting quite curled so maybe it really is the leaf curl plum aphid. The undersides of the leaves are cheek by jowl aphids and the lower leaves on the tree are very sticky and shiny from honeydew. But when the tree is disturbed there is no cloud of insects. Some of the aphids have developed wings so they’ll be leaving soon. Interesting insects: after feeding on prunus from spring to summer and reproducing rapidly, they grow wings and take off for reeds and cattails up to 30 miles away in late summer and migrate back to fruit trees to lay eggs in the fall.

Guess we’d support the trees by giving them an inch of water a week, maybe running a soaker hose circling the dripline for an hour, until harvest. Spraying is marginally effective and re-infestation occurs quickly.

Vashon Island Fruit Club Volunteers Needed

Dear Fruit Club Members,


One of our favorite Vashon Island Fruit Club events is almost here!  Saturday, June 26, beginning at 1:00pm, Bob & Carol Norton will host their Orchard Tour & Strawberry Shortcake Tasting party. Members only please. Join us for lemonade & scrumtuliscious berries.


We are also taking this opportunity to send out a call for extra Strawberry Fest volunteers, Friday July 16 through Sunday, July 18thIn order for the Club to avoid paying a $160.00 fee for our  Strawberry Fest booth, we need to provide the Chamber of Commerce with 10 hours of volunteer time. This can be 5 people, each for 2 hours. Place & times needed: the Micro Brew Beer Garden. Possible jobs to include set-up, ID checking, beer pouring, and bussing tables.



VIFC needs volunteers in these time slots:


FRIDAY: 4 volunteers from 3:00 pm to 7:30, 5 volunteers from 7:30 until 11:00.  


SATURDAY: 2 volunteers from 10:30 to 2:00, 4 volunteers from 2:00 to 5:30, 5 volunteers from 5:30 until 11:00.


SUNDAY: 2 volunteers from 10:30 to 4:00, 4 or 5 from 4:00 to cleanup time around 7:00


Please let our Special Events Chair Linda Rhodes know when you would be available by calling her at 463- 9826, or call Elizabeth Vogt at 920-7603.


We hope to see everyone at the Nortons on the 26th, and we thank you in advance for your valuable volunteer time. After all, the club is as good as what we all put into it, the more we contribute, the more each of us gets back.


Happy Fruiting season to all of you!

Dawn Perlman – 2010 VIFC Membership Chair