"If apple trees of a certain variety are desired, they can be produced by budding or grafting; trees grown from apple seeds do not produce apples of the same variety as those of the parent tree." -Handbook of Nature Study, page 664.
I planted this apple tree four years ago, and I know that it is a dwarf tree to make picking easy. It was blown over in a storm and we could never right it's truck despite our efforts, so we gave up and let it grow its own way. Its branches are thick and entwine every which way so it is a very thick and bushy tree. The tree has a sort of round shape despite it being somewhat on it's side. We talked about how much thinner and shorter the trunk of this tree is as compared to other trees we have studied. The bark is a soft gray and pleasant to the touch. We made a bark rubbing and the boys decided that they wanted to make a mural of the trees and other creatures we have studied recently instead of individual notebook pages. We talked about how apple wood is fine grained and heavy and a favorite wood for carving. We also talked about how apple trees are often grafted instead of planted by seed because of the unreliability of pollination. They remember when we received this tree from the nursery in the mail. It was just a thin dead-looking stick. We planted it but was not sure if it would live because it looked so unlively. But it lived and started really producing three years later, which is a much shorter time than the old apple trees which did not mature for ten years or more.
The boys picked leaves and we noted that they are shaped just like what everyone thinks of the typical leaf-shape. It is the shape that young people drawing generic leaves draw -an oval shape with sharp ends. We also noticed that many of them were curled naturally and were hard to flatten for making prints. We painted the leaves with watercolor and pressed them on construction paper and then cut out around the shapes.
We also discovered a new technique that I have never seen done before. We made crayon rubbings of the leaves in a light green and then painted them over with watercolor of a darker green. The watercolor resisted the crayon and let the rubbings of the vein lines show through, but went in where the crayon did not touch and made a beautiful fullness to the leaf. The result was very realistic.