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Old Abandoned Orchard in Mossyrock Wildlife Area
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davem
312 Posts
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1
August 28, 2016 - 9:45 pm

This weekend I was camping at Mossyrock Park near the town of Mossyrock, Washington.  We were exploring the trails and came across an old orchard, located in the "Mossyrock Wildlife Area".  It is overgrown but there are game trails running through some of it.  I did not try to identify any of the apples, but I saw at least 5 varieties.  It also had ripe plums. I would guess that the trees are at least 70 years old. Back at the campsite there were more apples, hazelnuts, and chestnuts.

I think these old orchards could be valuable for identifying varieties that are resistant to disease in conditions similar to my yard.

You should check out the orchard if you are ever in the area (see link above for GPS coordinates).

The orchard is an easy walk down a trail then across a mowed field.

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Viron
1400 Posts
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August 30, 2016 - 5:42 am

Good find, and post, Dave.  

The family orchard I’d inherited had three trees of what were later ID’d as Vanderpool Red apples.  The last of your photos looks just like them, and the age would be right.  They were decent tasting apples, very consistent bearers, sound, long lasting trees, often blemish-free (totally neglected), and kept well, with a natural wax coating.  

There are ‘taste test’ winners ...and those winning the ‘test of time.’  I’m looking for the time-tested consistency back east right now…  Yes, good find and suggestion Cool

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davem
312 Posts
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August 30, 2016 - 1:07 pm

Thanks Viron.  I did taste a couple of the apples, but they weren't quite ripe.  I brought two apples home, one of each from the pictured trees.  I can take some detailed photos if you'd like.

I estimate that the orchard contains about 40 trees.  I would have liked to explore it more but didn't have time.

Dave

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Viron
1400 Posts
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September 1, 2016 - 11:42 am

Wow - 40 trees!  Just thought I’d mention ..if not possibly ID the ‘Vanderpools.’  Those ‘fat green one’s’ sure look good, too.  And thanks for the photo offer Dave, but I’m in Virginia … and way too far to do anything about them Confused

I do hope our (HOS) Shawn & Joanie are aware of the orchard…  They’ve traveled the state (of OR) in search of abandoned orchards ..and ID’d most of them!  Seems that would make a great Field Trip Cool

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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5
September 3, 2016 - 8:29 pm

Great thread. I emailed Joanie so hopefully she can find out about it.
John S
PDX OR

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murf
17 Posts
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6
September 4, 2016 - 6:55 am

I fish Mayfield lake and the Swofford pond area , to get to those apples which road do you park on to cross the field ? hydrovista ln or switchyard ln the map puts you in the middle of a field . I live in Puyallup thank you for the find .

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davem
312 Posts
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7
September 4, 2016 - 9:53 pm

I would park at the intersection of Young Road and Switchyard Lane, and walk Northwest into the field.  There is a small "island" of fruit trees, beyond that is a "peninsula" with the 40 trees.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were more orchard trees in the surrounding woods.

The G1 group campsite also has an apple, hazel, and chestnut. 

Be prepared for bushwhacking through blackberries. 

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
375 Posts
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8
April 9, 2019 - 3:35 pm

davem:  

I stumbled upon this post a couple of days ago when I was trying to find early mention of 'Miss Jessamine'.  Have you been back to this Mossyrock site in the intervening time, or do you know whether anyone else has?  It sounds like a spot that I'd love to explore a bit when my truck is running reliably again.  Perhaps bloom-time might be a good time for spotting some trees that may have been partially overgrown by secondary woodland and would otherwise be difficult to spot.  It would be very interesting (--perhaps incumbent upon us--) to identify whatever apple cultivars might be present.

When I drive around locally, I'm always rubbernecking at large, old, apple trees, and I really need to start identifying some of them.  I think that 'Baldwin' may be some of the fairly common old trees that I see in this area.  This spring I grafted both 'Baldwin' and its sport 'Olympia' to have as references (--and for eating or cider, of course!).

Change of topic:  ...I had been looking for an old forum post where you gave information about your apple 'Miss Jessamine".  I like to keep a record on the origins of apples that I graft.  If memory serves, this was a seedling from a commercial grocery-store apple?  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  

Tim

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davem
312 Posts
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9
April 18, 2019 - 12:11 pm

Reinettes said
davem:  

I stumbled upon this post a couple of days ago when I was trying to find early mention of 'Miss Jessamine'.  Have you been back to this Mossyrock site in the intervening time, or do you know whether anyone else has?  It sounds like a spot that I'd love to explore a bit when my truck is running reliably again.  Perhaps bloom-time might be a good time for spotting some trees that may have been partially overgrown by secondary woodland and would otherwise be difficult to spot.  It would be very interesting (--perhaps incumbent upon us--) to identify whatever apple cultivars might be present.

When I drive around locally, I'm always rubbernecking at large, old, apple trees, and I really need to start identifying some of them.  I think that 'Baldwin' may be some of the fairly common old trees that I see in this area.  This spring I grafted both 'Baldwin' and its sport 'Olympia' to have as references (--and for eating or cider, of course!).

Change of topic:  ...I had been looking for an old forum post where you gave information about your apple 'Miss Jessamine".  I like to keep a record on the origins of apples that I graft.  If memory serves, this was a seedling from a commercial grocery-store apple?  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  

Tim  

Hi Tim,

I have not been back to the Mossyrock orchard nor have I heard of anyone who has.

Yes "Miss Jessamine" is a seedling from a store apple. I don't remember the name of the apple. But a I think "Opal" is a possibility.

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