Thursday, 18 August 2011

Red comice

Just thought I'd add these photos as they looked so beautiful in the rain today. I think these should look stunning at the local hort. show next months. The espalier has fruited really well this year, fruit size is very good despite dry location and drought season.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Fondante d'Automne

Fruit actually going yellow on tree, will have to start picking crop. Annoying, with so many Morettini still to get through. I don't want to have to sell the whole crop so that it isn't wasted. Crop is a whole month earlier than last year. 2.5 kg picked Aug 17, 2.5 Aug 25, 5 kilos total.


Annoying to see the Google adverts for fruit pruning services in Oxford at the bottom of the page, you can ask me instead! Most of the people who call themselves tree surgeons are just blokes with chainsaws, and I'm sure they have no specialist knowledge of individual fruit varieties and their pruning peculiarities.

Denniston's superb...

... has finally lived up to it's name. Boughs of excellent quality fruit bending branches, but also attracting legions of wasps. Like Devoe, they had started to swell and crack following drought/heavy rainfall, allowing wasps easy access. Its actually quite dangerous harvesting with this level of wasp activity, we resorted to protecting hands and removing whole branches rather than picking individual fruits by hand. Another reason was that much of the fruit was on wood that had migrated northwards over the fence. Didn't measure the crop - a certain amount was wasp-spoiled and discarded, plus we ate an awful lot as we were picking. We've been eating about 8 a day for the last week, with half a tray still left.

I think the reason for the sudden increase in crop is due to not pruning extension growth at all last year (which did mean it had got rather out of control). The tree isn't trained as such, but vI don't think this variety likes being pruned at all. We removed two large uprights, nearly 6' long (which would have taken the overall height to way over 12 feet if left), from the centre of the tree and removed most of those overhanging the fence. Will try to 'festoon' new growth from lower on the trunk, and try to tie down extension growth of the main 'T' shape just to keep it tidy and accessible. This is about as late as I would ever want to prune a plum to avoid silverleaf.


Dissapointingly small crop of Devoe, but the quality was better than in some years. Picked on August 5, as a couple had started to split after heavy rain attracting wasps. This was too early, as they shrivelled a little before softening. Skin texture better than in some years, thinner, less papery. Flavour very good, sweet, juicy and perfuned. Foliage very badly affected by scab, absolutely no extension grown on either cordon, but fruit completely unaffected.