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Archive for January, 2012

I am looking to source fruit trees for an orchard in the Upper Avon Valley – between Pewsey and Amesbury

I’d like to get varieties that are traditional Wiltshire varieties – or local to the area. Apples, pears, plums, gages, cherries and anything else interesting!

Please could anyone advise ?

Rupert Maunsell

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Ancient perry pear tree in Mostviertel, Austria

The old pear tree pictured above was growing in the region of Mostviertel, south of the town of Linz in Austria. I took this photograph about eight years ago. At the time the tree was in very bad condition and most parts of the tree were dead. I cut some budwoods for grafting but unfortunately they did not succeed. Last year I was in the Mostviertel again and asked about the tree but the people said that it did not exist anymore.The age of the tree was estimated to be 500 years and there were documents referring to it from the time of Graf Zinsendorf  (1700-1760).  At this time the tree  was mentioned as a border tree and border trees were always big, old trees. For this reason the people in Austria decided that its age was about 500 years. The tree produced small fruits and it was a perry pear.

Walter Hartmann

The oldest, living pear tree is claimed to be the Endecott pear, grown from a pip, or brought as a seedling from England, by John Endecott the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and one of the Colony’s earliest settlers. He planted the tree in its present position in Danvers between 1632 and 1649. Although battered over the centuries by gales and in modern times brutally hacked about by vandals, it has always recovered and grown up again to still survive. Grafts were taken from it in 1997 and it is conserved in the pear collection at the US National Clonal Germplasm Repository at Corvallis in Oregon.

This  Austrian tree, however, is a possible rival to the Endecott as the oldest known pear tree. Are are there any more challengers?

J. M.

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I would like to register a new variety of apple, and wondered if anyone has experience of how to register plant breeders rights with DEFRA, as the information on their website appears to be both incomplete and out-of-date.

Elizabeth Moriarty

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