Tutoring science, you accompany people along investigations. The tutor shares one of his own.
I’ve always suspected that, when an apple is touching the ground, it’s likely been attacked by pests, so best left alone.
This growing season our apple tree grew so heavy with fruit that the branches bent downward. Indeed, many apples at the ends of branches ended up resting on the ground. I suspected those apples would be damaged.
Yesterday I decided to check my assumption’s validity, and I stand corrected. The apples resting on the ground, yet still attached to the tree, were typically undamaged. In fact, they may have been, statistically, at less risk to damage than those above the ground.
I wondered why apples resting on the ground (but still attached to the tree) might have better chance of being pest-free than those off the ground; at first, the idea didn’t make sense.
However, when an apple comes to rest on the ground, it is then traveled by ground-dwelling predators – spiders, for example – that eat pests. Perhaps the predators on the ground are more efficient, and numerous, than those in the tree. Once an apple touches the ground, they might take over and destroy pests on it.
Of course, apples that aren’t attached to the tree are typically damaged: that’s why, I assume, they would fall off in the first place. They’re not damaged because they’re touching the ground; rather, they’re touching the ground because they’re damaged. Ones still are attached to the tree, but have just come to rest on the ground, are typically in good shape – that’s what I’ve found, anyway.
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.