I had a few trees left over from the ones I was selling and I didn't want them to go to waste, nor did I want to replant them only to lift them next year so I decide to plant them in our little coppice. Reading Tracy's blog the other day, when she asked if you could ever have enough apple trees really spurred me into action - you can never have enough apple trees!
I thought that planted down the fence line they would be away from the willow I've got growing but also produce lots of food. I also like the idea of having two areas of apples away from each other so that if the frost catches one it might miss the other.
|Good concentration putting the rabbit guard on!|
So armed with a spade, some BF&B (blood, fish and bone), compost (just a little for the bottom of the hole), tree guards, cardboard (to make a little mulch mat around the bottom of the tree) and a load of trees I set off over to the coppice.
|Trees planted with a cardboard mulch mat under it. The tree behind isn't exactly straight but who wants straight trees!??!|
At the top of this area there is a foot path so I thought it best to plant the cider trees up this end - it might discourage scrumpers, you normally only eat a cider apple off the tree once! The lower half would have eating apples, mainly with a long storage capacity as I want to store more apples and it would mean that I could harvest lots of apples in one go then.
|Gooseberry bush being carried off to be put in the coppice|
I went over on my own to start with, dug all the holes (the boring bit) and then went and got my pair of helpers, they love planting trees and needed no convincing to come and help me.
They're very good and take it in turns with the different jobs. We also stopped lots of times to watch ants, worms and figure out what lived in a hole in a big old perry pear tree in the hedge.
|One holes the tree while the other puts the soil back in the hole.|
|We did spend a bit of time trying to decide who lived in this hole!|
|Eaters planted this side and cider apples nearer the footpath (behind this picture) - should put off scrumpers!|
Once we'd finished that area and had some lunch I got back to planting.
|Five cherry trees planted and two apricots.|
The orchard at the bottom of the garden is only half full at the moment as it's handy to have somewhere I can park large diggers and things, but last year I did plant a cherry tree near the fence line. I decided to increase this and plant another five cherry trees and a couple of apricots, they're all on dwarf root stocks so I'm hoping that netting a short row like this won't be too difficult in the future. We love cherries!
In total we planted another 12 apple trees, two pears, five cherries, two apricots and a gooseberry bush.
The funniest question people ask me about my apple trees is what am I going to do with "all those apples"?
In a good year we'll eat loads, store loads, make juice, dry them, can them, make cider, add them to jams and chutneys and give away or sell the surplus.
In a bad year we'll have just enough to get by, hopefully!
What about you? Have you planted enough to allow for bad years as well as good if you've got the space?
What would be your fruit of choice to plant in your area or your dream location?