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Archive for November, 2011

These beautifully crafted pears, which I saw recently, brought to mind the technique of quilling, done using strips of paper as illustrated here. In the above examples, however, the effect was created using plant material which has a softening effect rather than the sharp edges of paper, but I would like to have go at some point. I have the quilling paper, but would need to try and shape a pear as the base out of polystyrene. Maybe a Fruit Forum reader can give some more information on these very attractive, artificial pears – I would love to own one.

Linda Blenkinship

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I have just come across a young apple tree labelled ‘Willoughby’ in a survey of an early 20th century orchard on the Lincolnshire/ Notttingham  border, near Retford.

Does anyone know anything about this one, please? It is not in the National Fruit Collection.

Bob Lever

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These quinces were picked more than a month ago and stored, but they have not kept at all well. The whole fruit when cut open shows brown markings and many of the fruits also developed the typical areas of brown rot on the outside. I don’t think it was a question of leaving the fruit too long before picking them, as this discolouration on the exterior and interior was occurring by early October.  We had a very heavy crop this year, with many very large fruit (often weighing around 14 ozs) but many also looked lumpy and distorted rather than having a classic quince shape.  The tree itself seems healthy, and a photo of the leaves (taken yesterday and posted below) shows that they look healthy too and do not seem to be suffering from quince leaf blight. This tree grows about 20 ft away from several apple trees of various types that have also cropped very heavily this year.  They have been largely bug free but have suffered a bit from brown rot.

Does anyone knew what might be causing this problem and if there is anything we can do by way of treatment? In any event, I intend to rake up and burn the leaves that fall and any fruit that remain on the ground.

Janet Wolfinden

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 The Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group has received a handsome grant  of £45,800  from the Heritage Lottery Fund to compile an inventory of remaining orchards in their county. They intend also to carry out restoration work, plant up to 20 new orchards and will compile an account of their survey together with the history and traditions of fruit growing in Suffolk, along with advice on maintaining traditional orchards and the important habitat that fruit trees provide for a wide range of wild life. Thanks to the HLF grant, local volunteers, working alongside experienced conservation professionals, will survey as many of the surviving orchard sites as possible over a three-year period.

The group takes as its starting point early 20th-century maps, which show more than 6,000 orchards in Suffolk. Just one in six remain, according to recent records, but often only as fragments of the original, mainly on local farms, or smallholdings with a few found on large country estates. The aim is to survey at least 700 sites across 470 Suffolk parishes, which will be carried out by a force of 110 parish-based volunteers supported by a number specialists in horticulture, conservation and wildlife who will also be involved in the project.

We look forward to the publication, which will be available on-line as well as in book form. A one-day national conference on traditional orchard habitat is also planned.

Fruit Forum

More details are available on the Heritage Lottery Fund web-site
http://www.hlf.org.uk/news/Pages/Grantprovesfruitfulfororchardsurvey.aspx

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