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Archive for April, 2012

Greek lemon grove; photograph from Denise Francis

Greek lemon grove; photograph by Denise Francis

I’ve been asked for advice about reworking an orchard full of orange rootstocks in Greece that was a lemon grove until a fire about 10 years ago. The rootstock has regrown and the owner would like to graft them back to lemon. There are quite a lot of trees so I imagine top-working individual branches would be onerous, so I’ve suggested reducing the top to a couple of branches and budding near the ground with an inverted T during the growing season, then removing the rest of the orange stock once it’s taken and growing well. Someone else has suggested to the owner that they could be cleft grafted. I wasn’t sure about dormancy and timing for the latter. I expect their ‘spring’ occurs during the cooler months but grafting in the height of summer sounds like a bad idea. Can anyone advise please?

Steve Oram

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I saw a puzzling comment in an arts supplement recently from the late Portugese novelist Antonio Tabucchi.  He commented in passing on a surname that: ‘In Portugese ‘Pereira’ means “pear tree” and like all names for fruit trees it is a surname of Hebrew origin – just as in Italy where the surnames of Hebrew origin are the names of cities.’

It does not make any sense or prompt any connections with me.  Does anyone know what this refers to?

Tom La Dell

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Nottingham medlar

Nottingham Medlar

I have a small plot (6m x 18m) in the west of Scotland and keen to grow a quince or medlar, but I fear they may be too large for the amount of land I have.  I am not an expert  and I wonder if there are any ways of keeping the size down or if there are any ‘dwarf’ varieties. Can anyone advise?

Louise Scott

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