Apples Vs Oranges


Apples Vs. Oranges Essay, Research Paper

No two things could be more different than apples and oranges. Just by looking at them one can see many different characteristics that set them apart from each other. Apples are red, yellow, russet, and sometimes striped in color and oranges are usually orange. Oranges have to be peeled before one can eat them. These two different fruits grow in different parts of the world, on different trees, and in different climates. What could these complete opposites have in common? Surprisingly they share many qualities that really do make them a lot alike.

The apple is the most important tree fruit of the temperate regions of the world. Apples have been grown and used for food since the early dawn of history. Charred remains found in Stone Age lake dwellings in central Europe show that prehistoric people ate apples. There are carvings of apples on ancient tombs and monuments in the Middle East. The apple appears often in myths and folklore of ancient civilizations. In Greek mythology Hercules traveled to the ends of the Earth to bring back the golden apples of Hersperides. A golden apple-the apple of discord-caused a quarrel that led to the Trojan War. A Norse myth tells of a magical apple that keeps people alive forever. The Halloween game dipping for apples had a beginning among the ancient Celts as a way to foretelling the future.

Early European settlers brought apples to America. At first apples were mainly used for cider, which is another name for apple juice. As the frontier moved westward so did apple trees. One of the first things a settler would do after clearing the land and building a cabin was to plant apple trees in the yard.

Apples grow on a medium- sized tree. In good soils, non pruned trees will reach 9 to 12 meters (30 – 40 feet) in height. Apple trees generally do not begin to blossom and bear fruit until they are 5 to 8 years old. They reach maximum production at about age 20; commercial orchards are generally replaced when they reach 35 to 40 years in age. Although the trees would live longer, the fruit from old trees is generally smaller and poorer in appearance and more expensive to care for. Apple trees can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees C. Here in the United States apples mainly grow in Washington, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and California. The trees need a period of cold or dormancy to grow and bear fruit properly. So they cannot grow in tropic areas.

Oranges on the other hand also were around in ancient times. Some experts have proved that they date back as far as 4,000 years ago according to ancient Chinese records. Oranges also come from the other side of the Atlantic.

When Christopher Columbus sailed for the New World, he carried with him seeds of oranges and other types of citrus fruits. The seeds were planted on the island of Hispaniola. Just as the Europeans spread apple trees westward in the United States by moving further that way. The Indians spread citrus trees beyond the Spanish Plantations by dropping seeds from fruit they were eating. Soon groves were of wild citrus trees.

Orange trees never stop growing. By the time it is 20, it may be 4.5 meters (15 feet) high and producing more than 1,000 oranges yearly. Just as apple trees get old and stop producing quality fruit there are few orange trees over 100 years old that still produce quality oranges. Citrus trees are called evergreens because they have leaves in all seasons. Actually the old leaves fall off and new ones are constantly being produced.

Citrus growers like apple growers have to protect their hard-earned crops from extremes in temperature. Even though Oranges are mostly grown in the tropics, a sudden drop in temperature can cause disaster. For these reasons fuel heaters and wind machines are used to prevent frost. Both Apple trees and orange trees produce a fragrant blossom that later will produce the fruit we have all come to enjoy.

Even though apples and oranges have many differences. They still share many qualities that make them similar. They may grow in different parts of the world, in different climates and on different trees. But, many of the things that the young trees endure happen to both of them. Extremes in temperature can destroy an entire crop. Growers have to take many of the same precautions to insure a productive crop. So the next time you think apples and oranges are complete opposites try thinking about more than outer appearance.

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