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Tomorrow – Sunday 26 October – a thousand different varieties of apples will be on display in London’s Borough Market marking a millennium of trading on this site. Apples are the one food that exists in a thousand different varieties and so perfect for this historic anniversary. It all happens tomorrow when the market stages its Apple Day Festival.

The apples come from the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Kent where over two thousand different varieties are grown. For more information see: Borough Market

Vietnamese 'Apple'

Vietnamese ‘Apple’

I send you a picture of our small Vietnamese apple. You see the coin they put next to them to show the size of the fruits. It has only one seed. Literally translated from Vietnamese, its name means apple, but it is not an apple but another type of fruit? Can anyone tell me what kind of fruit it is and why it is called an ‘apple’?

Trang Pham

Ames apple

Ames apple

I would be interested in hearing if anyone knows of the existence of the American apple Ames, other than the trees held in National Fruit Collection at  Brogdale, Kent  and at Royal Horticultural Society garden at Wisley, Surrey. I think this cultivar might be extinct in the USA, and possibly everywhere except Brogdale and Wisley.

Bob Lever

Photograph kindly supplied by Peter Laws and Fruit ID

Dutch Morello cherry in blossom

Dutch Morello cherry in blossom

I planted a morello cherry (free standing) on the top corner of my front lawn, in Spring of this year (2014). There are now quite a few straggly ‘branches’, which I am tempted to cut back but I’m sure this is not what I should do. I believe this tree should not be pruned for the first year or so. Also what is the best way to enrich to soil around it over winter. Advice please.

Sandra Bury

Last autumn we bought two apples trees – Red Falstaff and James Grieve – and one pear tree – Concorde – and they have not thrived this year. All had blossom and fruit, most of which we removed because of the weight on the branches, but all three have had diseases and grown in a distorted way. The apples grew tall lanky branches and have suffered from leaf miner, losing most of their leaves early, while the pear had pear mite/midge and the leaves went curly. I know apples need to be pruned in winter, and the lanky branches need to be reduced, but we also need to be sure that all three trees make a better start next year. They are growing quite close to a fence, and there seems to be a mass of wood lice around which eat the pumpkins, but may not have anything to do with the trees. The Red Falstaff is trying valiantly and had had two bouquets of blossom this autumn as well as in the spring.

Linda Le Merle

Cherry Juice and Gout?

Sweetheart Cherry

Sweetheart Cherry

I read in The Times a letter, which said that cherry juice cured gout. There are quite a few articles on the web, but no research trials that I located. Expensive – ultimate anti-toxicant ?

Does anyone do serious research on all these wonder fruits?

I think that marketing has led to blueberries taking over from black currants, which to my mind are much nicer and need to be rediscovered.

Helen Self

Codling moth damage

Codling moth damage

I have a plague of codling moths on a biblical scale. Does anyone else have the same problem?

I think the reason is that in my orchard I did not put out the pheromone traps until early July – a month or more later than usual – and this coupled with the early season has meant they were ineffective. Although in a normal year there may be only two or three male moths in each trap all season.

So where have all these moths come from, bearing in mind that there was little damage last year. During this summer the prevailing winds have been in the south east or east south east, this is very unusual; the prevailing winds are normally in the south west. My theory is they have come over from the continent on the prevailing winds.

The espalier apples have come off the worst, the fruit being more exposed, in particular Mère de Ménage and A. W. Barnes. Over half the crop has been lost already and there are still more to drop off.

The season is a strange one, which has affected the pears as well. Yet it was pretty similar to last year, in that little happened before July, a blistering July then again little happened. I noted last year that Conference and Concorde stopped growing in very early September, while normally they would keep on growing to about the end of September, especially last year as the season was very late. This year Beth, Clapp’s Favorite and Marguerite Marillat stopped growing at the very beginning of August despite watering, in fact the watering was a waste of money. Beth just sat there for a month getting nice and golden and the Clapps’ got more colorful – were they responding to just one real month of pear growing weather. July 2013 and July 2014 were only good for the sun worshippers in my opinion and very little help to gardeners.

Adrian Baggaley

Margueriete Marillat pears

Marguerite Marillat pears

Photographs kindly supplied by Adrian Baggaley

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