30 June 2013

Orchard produce

The combination of last year's dry summer and the chickens developing a taste for apple-tree bark meant that I have lost about half of the fruit trees we planted back in 2008. Last year we got hardly any fruit from the surviving trees. This year, though, things are looking better. The picture below is of a variety called 'Lady' and I'm fairly sure this is the first time it has had any fruit on it. 

You can see that the leaves of the tree are speckled with the cedar-apple rust which originates from the weird orange fungus growths that appear in wet weather in the Spring on cedar trees. Some of the other trees are much more badly affected than this one, but they are still managing to put forth new leaves and the fruit seems to be alright.

The apple trees which have grown best are 'Lady' and 'North Star' (also known as 'Dudley Winter'): on both of them the fruit had set so well that I had to thin it out a bit. This is one of those activities I knew about in theory but have never had to do in practice before. Rather like 'What to do with Leftover Roast Potatoes', or 'How to Invest your Spare Cash'.

Both of the pear trees (Clapp's Favourite and Bartlett) are still with us and have respectable amounts of fruit coming, although the Bartlett has had a new addition since the last time I looked at it:

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