Monday, 19 October 2009

An Orchard Sunset

Here we have a lovely Autumn sunset as a backdrop to some of our young cider apple trees. The right-hand tree is a struggling Harry Masters' Jersey which bore no fruit again this year. It's struggling due to being planted in the poorest soil in the orchard, sandy, very free-draining, and desperately in need of a mulch if we can keep the hens from scratching it all away. This tree was also hit badly by Rosy Apple Aphid in its first season, and is only just recovering.

The healthier specimens to the left of the Harry Masters' are Yarlington Mill. In common with the rest of the orchard, we're training these trees to give a strong centre leader with evenly spaced fruiting laterals. The strong upright growth of the laterals on these trees could make it hard to maintain the dominanace of the centre leader. Come the new year they'll need some careful Winter pruning , as well as tieing down of the laterals when the sap rises in the Spring. This should promote the formation of fruiting buds on the laterals, and in turn help reduce the vigour of the tree as a whole.

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