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Apple frass.

COUNTRYSIDE: I was pleased to find my article on apples in the May/June issue, but it seems that your spell checker doesn't recognize the word "frass." That's F-R-A-S-S, and on the computer I'm using at the moment, it underlines in red. It's a real word, and it means the digestive products of grubs--their poop. It is orange frass that you find near the base of the tree when borers are at work, not the grubs themselves. It is frass you find at the calyx end of an apple when codling moth larvae are at work. Many of us in northern Maine know French too, since Canada is only a short distance away, and you should see what spell checkers do to your French!

One of my in-laws is marrying a gentleman from far northern Minnesota who has a small farm, and I was talking with him about apples. He has winter temperatures at least as cold as ours in northern Maine, but to my surprise, he gets less snow. He has had trouble with apple trees breaking dormancy too early and suffering frost damage, so now he sets them out on north-facing slopes. This wouldn't work well here where the growing season is so very short to begin with, and where we always have heavy snow. Even in the unusually mild winter just past, we reached 32 inches of snow coven--Joseph D. Conwill, Rangeley, Maine

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Title Annotation:Country conversation & feedback
Author:Conwill, Joseph D.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jul 1, 2012
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