FAMILY APPLE TREE The family apple tree which we began constructing two years ago now has first fruit. See the link below:
This is the latest in a series of videos about this tree, which has been constructed using a ten-year-old tree with poor-tasting fruit. It now has twenty varieties of apple, some of them very uncommon, from around the world.
Here are the key stages of tree construction:
Video 1 Cutting back the original tree in January, fairly drastically, before leaving it for a year.
Video 2 Looking at the new shoots where grafting will take place.
Video 3 The new shoots have grown more rapidly than expected...
Video 4 Grafting soon...
Video 5 Grafting the first ten varieties into the framework.
Video 6 Grafting finished - we look at the tree.
Video 7 Grafts starting to grow.
Video 8 Grafts growing too rapidly!
Video 9 First blossom.
Video 10 2nd year grafts growing.
Video 11 First fruit.
24 Aug 2018
THE WEATHER This year the weather has not been good for apples. Spring was cold and wet and late, and since then we have had a prolonged period of higher temperatures and no rain.
Pollination was reasonably good with most varieties, but we are now seeing premature ripening and undersize fruit, with a high propertion of apples rotting on the tree because of apple sawfly, which has clearly benefited from so much warmth and sunshine.
Our first apples to ripen were Sweetings: mid to end - July. The flavour was OK. However we are now getting prematurely-ripening Laxton's Fortune, Discovery, Scarlet Surprise, Rosette and others, none of which taste as they should. They are all too small, too hard, too high in tannin, low in sugar and rather harsh.
If we get a wet period things may change for the mid and late season fruit, but we are running out of time.