Fruit blossom is appearing about three weeks later than last year due to the very cold weather throughout the month, but at last the fruit trees are coming into flower. We will follow their progress through the trees in the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Kent, courtesy of Mary Pennell who has kindly agreed to give us a weekly update.
Last week with the lovely sunshine and warm temperatures things were finally moving on in the orchards. Bud development is looking to be at least 3 weeks later than the average this year due to the very cold and extended winter.
The apricots are disappointing having very light and patchy blossom. It has made recording the flowering periods impossible as the growth stages ranged from white bud to petal fall within the same variety. Some early plums were in flower last week – about 20 days later than last year – but 2013 is by no means the latest ever recorded at Brogdale certainly for plum blossom. One or two years in the early 1960s, mid 1970s and in particular 1986 were as late if not later.
Most of the plums are now at full flower with the exception of the very early and very late varieties – many seem to have flowered at the same time this year. Most of the cherries have moved on since last week with some now at the white bud stage with a few flowers opening on some varieties. Many of the pears are at 10% open with a few coming up to full flower. Apples have advanced with most now at green cluster stage with a few at early pink bud.
Flowering Dates at National Fruit Collection Brogdale Kent 2013
Stages at 29 April 2013
Cambridge Gage: 26 April (10% open); 28 April (full flower)
Czar: 25 April (10% open); 28 April (full flower)
Denniston’ Superb/ Imperial Gage: 23 April (10% open); 25 April (full flower)
Farleigh Damson: 26 April (10% open); 28 April (full flower)
Majorie’s Seedling: 29 April (10% open);
Ouillons Gage: 24 April (10% open); 26 April (full flower)
Pershore Yellow Egg: 27 April (10% open); 29 April (full flower)
Victoria: 26 April (10% open); 28 April (full flower)
Lapins: 28 April (10% open)