Wednesday 27 January 2021

Work In an Orchard Is Never Over

 I was walking with the children on one of our Lockdown walks the other day, and the route goes through a commercial cider orchard. Very different to what we have, the trees are planted at different spaces, they're pruned and harvested differently, but we could see that the work they do in these places is a constantly evolving space. 

New Tree planted to fill a gap

They had young trees filling in gaps in the rows and some older trees that had been ripped out. it looked like they had started pruning as well - must be quite a daunting task with these fields being about 10 acres or more! 

Older tree removed for some reason - maybe disease 

But it gets me thinking about my own orchard and trees. We constantly plant new trees and queeze them into different places but also maintain the trees we have. This last summer I ahd a coupl edie for no reason (or not one I could see). They need to be replaced. 

One is in the main orchard (pictured above the nearest tree) it was an early transparent gage that suddenly died. gutted as it has some lovely fruit on it. I won't put a stone fruit in it's palce though, just encase it is disease. 

The tree directly behind it (slightly to the right in the same photo) is one I planted but the rootstock over took the graft. It's a plum but try as I might I can't seem to bud this one. I think it's time to admit I'm beaten, dig it up and start again. 

No idea of the variety of this tree! 

The other tree in my orchard is this apple tree. A cheap Aldi apple but never seems to have very good fruit on it. It's certainly not a discovery like the label said, but it would be a shame to waste those roots. my plan is to prune it hard and then cleft graft it over to another variety. I have a few ideas of what that should be! But Probably a good storage eating apple! 

Who else is always working on their fruit trees?


  1. Me, too! An orchard is an evolving thing. It brings both peace and frustration as I work with my trees. Peace to know I'm working with a long term project that will tolerate errors and still reward me; frustration that I can't ever seem to get that perfect orchard I admire in the magazine pictures. Last year was a 'low fruit' apple year here. Hoping this year will bring a ton. I'm learning to make wine from the juice, and it is delicious. Cheers!

  2. I only have a few apple trees, I love to prune, great satisfaction to see a tangled mess take shape. I lost a tree last year, even the arborist was baffled why it had died. All we came up with was the drainage around here has changed and we suspect it was too wet.

  3. Do you give any treatments to the fruit trees after the snow melted on spring?


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