Grafting Course held by Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group in 2013
If you have an ambition to create your own fruit tree, then this is the time to learn how to graft. Practical courses where you can learn to graft a scion (a cutting) from your chosen variety of an apple or pear onto a rootstock and so produce a new tree are offered by many of the regional fruit groups and societies now active all over Britain. In this way you will be able acquire your own tree of a variety that you covert in a friend’s garden or perpetuate a cherished tree that is not going to last much longer. With this skill mastered, it is possible to expand your collection, rescue an old almost forgotten apple or pear and learn a craft that has been part of orchards and country life for millennia.
The Suffolk Traditional Orchards Group, for instance, is holding ‘Grafting Courses’ on:
Saturday 22 February 2014 at Suffolk Wild Life Trust Foxburrow Farm; 10am to 3.30pm approx.
Address: Saddlemakers Lane, Melton, Woodbridge, IP12 1NA
Saturday 1 March 2014 Suffolk Wild Life Trust Redgrave and Lopham Fen, 10am to 3.30pm approx.
Address: Low Common Road, South Lopham, Diss, IP22 2HX
In Kent, Brogdale Collections is holding ‘Grafting Courses’ at Brogdale on:
Saturday 18 January 2014 and Saturday 25 January 2014
Adddress: Brogdale Farm, Brogdale Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8XZ
Such fruit groups and organisations often sell the rootstooks that you need and the tools, such as grafting knives, binding tape and so on, as well make available scion wood of varieties.
It is possible to buy scion wood yourself and of most of the apple and pear varieties in the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale are available and can be obtained from FAST, the organisation responsible for maintenance of the Collection.
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Late Gold cider apple
Many visitors to Fruit Forum will have read the articles and comments from the late Alan Rowe on this Blog and the main website. They will remember him as an enthusiastic horticulturalist with interests in vines, wines, and apples, especially cider apples and perry pears. He was always keen to improve on his trees by doing a little crossing and his garden held many interesting new selections. As a very good friend, he asked me to look after his latest cider apple protégé, Late Gold of which he was duly proud. Before he died he gave me some propagation material so that trees could be distributed.
Late Gold is a cross between full bittersweets Medaille d’Or and Yarlington Mill. Late Gold inherits the best qualities of Yarlington; its easy-going forbearance with less than ideal orchard conditions, its tolerance to disease and its good fruit size. Medaille d’Or gives it superior vintage quality and carries with it heavy astringent tannin. Late Gold trees are moderately vigorous, reasonably regular cropping but flower late, towards the end of May. It could prove a very useful and robust late maturing variety and should certainly make some good cider. It would be especially useful for blending with the juice of dessert and culinary fruit and should certainly improve the flavour and colour of the cider.
Young trees are just becoming available from the John Worle Nursery ready for distribution. To obtain a tree please go direct to John Worle’s nursery website www.johnworle.co.uk
Liz Copas is a pomologist, a distinguished cider apple authority, author of A Somerset Pomona and the forthcoming The New Pomona; she is also a botanic artist.
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Traditional standard cherry orchard in Kent
Can anyone recommend a real nursery where I can get cherries on F12/1 rootstock to produce large trees with the traditional size and character?
Photograph kindly supplied by Pippa Palmer.
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Does anyone know what this little blighter is? I followed a trail of damage around my apple tree – a pyramid Rev W Wilks – last autumn. It was a busy little thing.
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National Fruit Collection – Apple Collection
The National Fruit Collection at Brogdale Farm in Kent is the largest collection of temperate fruit varieties growing on one site in the world. It is also the oldest fruit collection in the world, for which collecting has been on-going since 1922 – for more than 90 years.
The Collection is owned by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and Defra funds the curation and maintenance of the Collection. The present holders of this contract are the University of Reading and FAST Ltd ((Farm Advisory Services Team), with Brogdale Collections responsible for public access to the Collection.
The tender for the Defra National Fruit Collection contract for the next five years (or longer) was published yesterday. To see the tender document visit the Defra web-site and click on ‘view current opportunities’, then see item 10.
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Apple variety Hawaii, which grows well in California
I am interested to grow apple in my native place – Kendujhar, Orissa, India. Can I do that?
See Fruit Forum main website : Apples in a Warm Climate by Kevin Hauser
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Caterpillar on Japanese plum leaf – what is it?
Some of the leaves of my Japanese plums are being eaten by a small very pale lime green caterpillar, which binds two leaves together for cover – does any one know what it is? See above picture.
The second finding in my orchard is that this is not a pear midge free year. The incidence with me is slightly down on 2011 - but there is still plenty of infection – in the picture the big infected fruit-let is Catillac. This is disappointing after almost no pears in 2012. (For more discussion on pear midge on this blog – see here).
Pear fruit-lets infected with pear midge
There is also an abnormal level of aphid in the growing tips of the pears, which I think is pear bedstraw aphid.
My third observation concerns bees. My bee keeper supplied me with, I am told, buff tailed bumble bees, which came off an allotment. The following day I tracked down these bees to my Winter Gem apple and I observed them for several minutes on more than one occasion. These bees were in a hurry, they seldom spent more than two seconds on a flower, some times only a second. I decided to compare them to the honey bees, which very often spent as much as eleven seconds before they moved on to another flower. In comparison the buff tails were doing around five times the work.
Buff tailed bumble bee
Can these buff tails be bought, if so where? And how can I provide over-winter accommodation for the ones that I have already. The buff tails’ accommodation could supplement the solitary bee accommodation I have made out of short bamboo canes, which were occupied over the winter.
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