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Delgollune, raised by French nurseryman George Delbard

We have just purchased a property in the Manche region of Normandy and with the property we have over 400 apple tress which produce between 8 – 10 tonnes of fruit. These trees have been looked after by a next door neighbour for many years and, even to our untrained eye, look in need of some proper care. Where could we go to learn about keeping an orchard? How can we identify our apples? Also the next door neighbour informs us that the local cooperative which used to take them now buys its apples from Spain! In the short term ie October this year (as we do not move permanently until next summer), any thoughts on what we could do with our harvest, rather than leave it to rot.

Sue and Kevin Robinson

 

There may be something of use in an article on our main web-site:  http://www.fruitforum.net/growing-apples-organically-in-normandy.htm

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Morello cherry 23 April 2018 at National Fruit Collection, Kent. In flower 10 April 2017.

Here in North East Wales, no doubt due to the long chilly spring, we all have experienced in the UK, I have the peculiar anomaly this year of every early flowering fruit tree being late to flower and catching up with the later flowering trees.
 I cannot recall this unusual happening before but I have only kept accurate records from when I moved here in 2006. I’m keeping a record of what will and what won’t grow here in the Vale of Clwyd where we have a micro-climate and unusually low rainfall for North Wales.
 Things are certainly looking toward a bonus crop of fruit for me this year if the later fruit set on the peach and apricots is anything to go by.
 The hot dry weather from last week has pretty much suddenly burst everything into blossom in an overlapping cycle of events. The plums just overlapping the pears and the cherries overlapping the apples.

Right at this moment on the 27th April I have just into blossom 4 out of 6 apple trees, Charlotte first into flower on 24th April with Scrumptious, followed by Flamenco on 26th, Greensleeves is just opening its first flower buds today. The two Laxton Superb trees are just at the pink bud stage this year.
 Four pears: Beth was first with masses of blossom open on the 21st April this year, followed by Conference, Comice, and Williams’ still in flower.
 Also still in blossom 8 plum trees: Denbigh Plum, 2 Jubileum plum, Marjorie’s Seedling (also a mass of blossom this week), 2 Opal plums, Ontario plum and Victoria. The Victoria and the two Jubileum plums were first to flower this year on 18th April, closely followed by Opal and Denbigh, last was Marjorie’s Seedling on the 24th April. Cherries in flowering sequence this year were: Summer Sun, Early Rivers, 21st April, then Kordia on 23rd, Stella and Morello just starting to flower this week on 26th April.
 All three Apricots (2 Tomcot and 1 Large Early) and peach Redhaven all flowered later, in early March (under cover).

Philip Lunt

Beth pear April 2018

I can report masses of pear blossom on virtually all of my sixty odd varieties of pear growing in Nottingham. It is without doubt the best for years. Following a bonus of four hot days to get pollinating going, now I ask myself – will the limited amount of bees cope? Fingers crossed no radiation frosts or the return of the ‘Beast from the East’.

Are pears doing well everywhere?

Adrian Baggaley

Blossom Time 2018

Early Rivers Cherry

As we have done for a number of years, we publish the blossom records for the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, undertaken and kindly supplied by Lorinda Jewsbury. These are records for a selection of varieties (standards and any new accessions) from all the tree fruit collections at Brogdale.

20th April

The slow start to the spring weather held the blossom back this year but the mini-heatwave over the past few days has certainly got the trees up and running. The plums are a good 3 weeks later than last year and the pears are a couple of weeks behind 2017 but open blossom can now be seen in all orchards of the Collection – even a few apples have started to open.

Last year, though, was a particularly early one for the blossom and not the best year to gauge flowering times by. With the late snow and cool start to April this year, 2018 looked set to be a late one. However, it reached 25.8˚C at Brogdale yesterday and the current high temperatures have brought the blossom back on track, certainly for the cherries and pears which are more or less in line with their average flowering dates.

More high temperatures are forecast for the weekend before it cools down next week. I expect a few more apples will open over the weekend and Monday will be another busy day checking the blossom at Brogdale.

Lorinda Jewsbury

 

2018

PLUM

Cambridge Gage: 17th April (10% open); 19th April (full flower);

Czar: 16th April (10% open); 17th April (full flower);

Denniston’s Superb (Imperial Gage): 12th April (10% open); 14th April (full flower); 20th April (90% petal fall)

Farleigh Damson: 11th April (10% open); 14th April (full flower);

Marjorie’s Seedling: 17th April (10% open); 18th April (full flower);

Oullins Gage: 15th April (10% open); 17th April (full flower);

Pershore Yellow Egg: 16th April (10% open); 17th April (full flower);

Victoria: 17th April (10% open); 18th April (full flower);

 

PEAR

Concorde: 20th April (10% open);

Conference: 20th April (10% open);

Doyenne du Comice:

Louise Bonne of Jersey: 17th April (10% open); 19th April (full flower);

 

CHERRY

Early Rivers: 18th April (10% open); 19th April (full flower);

Hertford: 18th April (10% open); 20th April (full flower);

Lapins: 18th April (10% open); 19th April (full flower);

Merchant: 18th April (10% open); 20th April (full flower);

Stella: 19th April (10% open);

Sunburst: 19th April (10% open);

 

APPLE

Blenheim Orange:

Bramley’s Seedling:

Cox’s Orange Pippin:

Crawley Beauty:

Discovery:

Egremont Russet:

Falstaff:

Feuillemorte:

Fiesta/Red Pippin:

Gala:

James Grieve:

Jonagold:

Meridian:

Red Astrachan: 19th April (10% open);

St. Edmund’s Pippin:

Worcester Pearmain:

 

 

 

Louise Bonne of Jersey pear used to be planted all over Britain. It arose before 1780 in Normandy and came to England via Jersey in 1820.

We have a very large pear tree on an allotment site in York. It is similar in size to the one on your blog and looks fantastic when in flower. We are wondering how to age it and find out what variety it is. The allotment site dates from 1917 and the pear tree is next to a footpath, which is shown on maps from 1850s but could be present much earlier. The allotment tenant is not very keen on the tree as a lot of the fruit falls from such a great height and is wasted. We hope to find out if the tree has historical significance and plan to help with picking the fruit too. Can you give us any advice?

Sara Robin

 

 

Hessle pear, which arose in the village of Hessle near Hull, Yorks; first recorded 1827.

 

Fruit identification sessions for apples and pears are held all over the country during September and October.

You can turn to the fruit books for descriptions of varieties and submit samples of leaves for DNA fingerprinting.

In Yorkshire, Royal Horticultural Society Garden Harlow Carr, near Harrogate, has fruit identification days and the Northern Fruit Group holds sessions and gives advice.

Brogdale Collections at Brogdale, home of the National Fruit Collection, identifies fruit by post.

There are a number of reference books you could use:

The Book of Pears by Joan Morgan (2015), illustrated by Elisabeth Dowle and the companion website with photographs of nearly 500 varieties in the Directory section https://www.thebookofpears.fruitforum.net

Pears by Jim Arbury (1997), illustrations by Sally Pinhey

Handbook of Hardy Fruits (1920) vol. I, by Edward Bunyard

The Fruit Manual by Robert Hogg, 1884, reprinted 2002

Apple and pear varieties can also be identified by DNA fingerprinting using the leaves, see Fruit ID website

Fruit Forum

Worcesterberry

Some of our cuttings got mixed up. Does anyone know how to tell the difference between Gooseberry (Invicta) and Worcesterberry, before fruiting?

organiclea

 

Invicta gooseberry

 

For another post on the Worcesterberry see: https://fruitforum.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/worcesterberry-is-it-widely-grown/

Muscat of Alexandria taking First Prize at the Royal Horticultural Society Show, Westminster, October 2009

I have a muscat grape, now three years in a greenhouse. Last year, even with my inexpert pruning in April, we got several bunches of exquisite grapes. I finally hauled out my Alan Rowe book on grape growing and I find that in fact I should have pruned it in December. Is it okay to (once again!) prune it late, or should I leave the thing wandering all over the greenhouse?

Joanna Sheldon

Successful Grape Growing for Eating and Wine-making by Alan Rowe, 3rd edition 2006, published by Groundnut Publishing.