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Archive for June, 2011

The company I work for has some land on which we hope to plant some fruit trees for use by the staff and for cooking in our on-site restaurant. I am no tree expert and am looking for some advice on what to plant. We will have room I think for about 6 trees and I was thinking of perhaps 4 apple, a plum and a pear. I understand there are some lovely older varieties and as long as they aren’t too difficult to look after we would be interested in those.
Please can anyone give me some advice?

Roger Cann

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We have had for several years a fine plant of the outstanding Buckingham Tayberry: unlike many thornless sports as vigorous as the type, prolific with luscious fruit and abundant new growth, our best hybrid berry. On the strength of that success we bought two more, micro-propagated, I understood, after reversion fears, replacing a tasteless ‘Merton Thornless’ blackberry (since superseded elsewhere in the garden, with more space, by the splendid ‘Fantasia’) and an elderly LY59 loganberry. Both were genetic runts, with poor growth and dry, wizened fruit. They were replaced by the grower, not free of charge, as should have been the case, since the fault was clearly with the nursery, not with the cultivation, but at least at a discount. This season the same is threatening to happen again with the replacements, even after they have been given an extra year, in case they were just being slow to get their feet down.

Have others had similar problems?

Edward Olleson

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Way back in the 18th.Century a small plantation of this apple was discovered in the village of Uttwil in the Swiss Canton of Thurgau. However it was of bitter taste and fit only for animal feed, but it had the unique property that stored fruit never wrinkled. Uttwil lies in the northern boundary of Switzerland by the Lake Constance.

Slowly the number of trees dwindled until only 2 survived. However a few years’ back researchers employed by a Swiss chemical company thought that they might have a use for this special property. They took some samples and found that the secret lay in the apple’s unusual stem cells. Humans also possess stem skin cells which, however, become less efficient with age and cannot repair skin so effectively so cause it to wrinkle.

It was therefore decided to attempt to manufacture a substance akin to that of the Uttwiler apple, which could be applied to human skin and reduce appearance of aging. Replicating succeeded in the laboratory. Now a product has been successfully produced which is being snapped up by cosmetic companies world-wide.

The variety’s existence has also been ensured by 20 trees being propagated and planting in the Swiss National collection of ProSpecieRara.

Howard Stringer

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