'Ghost apples' spotted hanging from icy trees in Michigan orchard
By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
February 08, 2019, 3:07:43 PM EST
Freezing rain encased parts of Michigan in ice this week, leading to numerous power outages and travel issues. While the ice wreaked havoc, it also produced a stunning sight at an orchard in west Michigan.
"Ghost apples" were left hanging from tree branches, completely devoid of the fruit's typical peel or core on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
"I guess it was just cold enough that the ice covering the apple hadn’t melted yet, but it was warm enough that the apple inside turned to complete mush (apples have a lower freezing point than water)," Andrew Sietsema, who took the photos, told AccuWeather.
"When I pruned a tree it would be shaken in the process, and the mush would slip out of the bottom of the ghost apple. Most apples just fell off, ice and all. But quite a few would leave a cool ghost apple behind," said Sietsema, who works as a farm manager and studied horticulture at Michigan State University.
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The orchard is located in the Fruit Ridge area of Kent County, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The ridge is a topographical land feature located northwest of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is considered to be an agricultural mecca, according to fruitridgemarket.com. The area supplies 60 percent of Michigan's apples.
"I’m sure you could find them at any orchard on the Ridge near Sparta, Michigan, or at least any that still had a few unpicked apples hanging on the trees. Jonagolds are one of my favorite apple varieties, but we’ll call these 'Jonaghosts,'” Sietsema said.
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