I'm co-maintaining a small orchard. Often, noone will look after it for a while. Nature conservation and tree/ecosystem health is more important for the group of maintainers than a high yield.
After and during harvest season, there are naturally a lot of apples on the ground, mostly windfall, I guess, maybe a few from shaking and not collecting. Many of them are good to eat, but still a lot aren't collected by anyone and just rot. I'm wondering whether that's good or bad. Should we leave the rotten apples on the grass, or should we remove them?
Pro leaving: The apples contain the nutrients the tree will need in the next season. Leave them there to let the tree reabsorb them.
Pro removing: The apples will attract all sorts of bugs and possibly illnesses (bacteria, funghi) that are harmful for the apple tree. Remove them, compost them, and apply the compost after 2-3 years.