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Keswick Codlin, an early cooking apple variety that arose in North West England

I am a farmer in the south Pennines (I have recently taken over the farm from my now retired parents) and am looking to plant some more apple and pear varieties best suited to our climate. I’m hoping to plant around 15 – 20 trees in 2018 and look forward to using this resource to research what varieties to get. If there is anyone reading this based in the North West who has the time to offer advice to someone such as myself please do feel free to get in touch. Our farm website has our contact details on: www.cronkshawfoldfarm.co.uk.

Dorothy McCarthy

And please post your suggestions and comments below and we will pass them on.

We asked Hilary Wilson to give us some suggestions which are posted below – Comment number 3. Hilary  is a great authority on the apples  of the North West and has spent many years identifying and searching for varieties that do well in her native Cumbria, where she also farmed.

Fruit Forum

Fruit Blossom 2017

Early Rivers cherry at the National Fruit Collection, Kent.

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

An early start to the warm weather has really brought on the flowering for this year, as I’m sure you’re aware. The plums are roughly a couple of weeks earlier compared to last year. As an example, Victoria was in full bloom this year on 30th March – earlier than the 10th April noted for last year; the current 10 year mean (the average full bloom date) for Victoria is 8th April.

Although a number of the cherries in the Collection have yet to come into flower, the earlier varieties, again, have responded to the warm weather and Lapins reached full bloom on the 2nd April. It was the 23rd April last year and Lapins’ 10-year mean is 16th April.

The pear orchard is a sea of white once more as the trees have responded to the temperatures. Louise Bonne of Jersey, one of the early flowerers in the Pear Collection, was in full bloom on the 30th March. Last year saw it at full bloom on the 15th April, pretty much spot on for its average of 14th April.

The apples are just setting off and, of the early flowerers, Red Astrachan and Stark’s Earliest are already in full bloom. There is still a way to go yet with the Apple Collection and with the weather forecast to be a little cooler after the weekend there may be a fair gap this year between the early and late flowering varieties.

Lorinda Jewsbury

2017

PLUM

Cambridge Gage: 29th March (10% open); 30th March (full flower);

Czar: 20th March (10% open); 26th March (full flower);

Denniston’s Superb (Imperial Gage): 22nd March (10% open); 24th March (full flower);

Farleigh Damson: 25th March (10% open); 28th March (full flower);

Marjorie’s Seedling: 30th March (10% open); 1st April (full flower);

Oullins Gage: 28th March (10% open); 30th March (full flower);

Pershore Yellow Egg: 26th March (10% open); 28th March (full flower);

Victoria: 28th March (10% open); 30th March (full flower);

 

PEAR

Concorde: 5th April (10% open);

Conference: 2nd April (10% open); 5th April (full flower);

Doyenné du Comice: 3rd April (10% open); 5th April (full flower);

Louise Bonne of Jersey: 28th March (10% open); 30th March (full flower);

 

CHERRY

Early Rivers: 30th March (10% open); 2nd April (full flower);

Hertford: 3rd April (10% open);

Lapins: 30th March (10% open); 2nd April (full flower);

Merchant: 4th April (10% open);

Stella: 5th April (10% open);

Sunburst:

 

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: 31st March (10% open); 2nd April (full flower);

St. Edmund’s Pippin:

Worcester Pearmain:

Can anyone help me find this rare apple variety, grown in the West Country during WWII, the fruit is the size of a large grapefruit and yellowish in colour. By all accounts the most delicious variety ever. Any ideas?

John Denham

I am trying to identify a pear tree that we had many years ago in Berkshire. It was tall, old and produced knobbly little pears that were hard! But they were fabulous to eat once they had been bottled in syrup!
This was about 30 years ago. I would love to plant another if possible?

Jenny Tarrant

A possibility might be Hessle which was once planted all over Britain, in domestic gardens, market gardens and orchards.

Hessle pear

For more ideas on which variety it might be look here for photographs of some 450 pears, most of which have been grown in the UK at one time or another and now grow in the National Fruit Collection, Brogdale, Kent; also described in detail in  The Book of Pears.

Fruit Forum

Victoria plum in flower in the National Fruit Collection, Kent, on 28 March 2017

 

My standard Victoria plum has flowered first this year and is in full flower today the 28th March a whole month earlier than last year! I live in the Vale of Clwyd, Denbighshire, north east Wales.
The Opal, Jubileum, Denbigh plum and Ontario are all close to opening, Marjorie’s Seedling is about a fortnight off flowering.

Philip Lunt

Victoria plum in flower, though not full flower, at the National Fruit Collection Brogdale (above). Dates of flowering for Victoria plum last year were: 10% of flowers 10 April; full flower 14 April; so about two weeks in advance this year in Kent: see here

Fruit Forum

Planting gooseberry bush in a wire netting basket to protect against root damage by voles

Gooseberry bush planted in a wire netting basket to protect against root damage by voles

The subject of voles and the damage that they can cause to fruit trees and bushes has arisen from time to time on the blog. Voles will gnaw away at the roots and can kill a tree.  I recently planted some gooseberries and not wanting to have problems with moles and voles I planted them in chicken wire baskets to deter both. Where moles go voles and mice are sure to follow; they all use the same tunnels. During the winter I trapped seven voles and two mice using a mole run in the greenhouse; the strawberries were disappearing just as they were nearly ripe. Has anyone else had problems with voles this year?

Adrian Baggaley

2017-mid-feb-010Basket filled with soil; wire netting will be buried under final layer of soil

Photographs kindly supplied by Adrian Baggaley

I am writing from Brazil and wondering where could I get some seedlings of Pomegranate Parfianka. Could anybody help-me?

Marcelo Goulart

(According to US Nursery Edible Landscaping, this was originally imported from Turkmenistan, produces large fruits and is considered very well flavoured when grown in California. Fruit Forum).