We are now taking bookings for a grafting workshop, Feb 2014. Please send an email for details. Gardening and volunteer groups especially welcome. The venue will be in South Leicestershire.
UPDATE - COURSE NOW FULL. WILL RUN AGAIN NEXT YEAR.
If you've missed the course ...one-to-one tuition still available. Email to arrange a date.
Root burrs noticed by Frazer Irwin on an apple tree in Ilkley, Yorkshire. The variety is Tillington Pippin. Trees which do this are not diseased; the swellings are the beginnings of aerial roots. Such apples are easy to propagate; if the branch is cut off just under the burr, and planted, it will usually grow. I have seen Warner's King produce burrs like this, and MM106, and of course the famous "Burr Knot" apple. ...pictures used by permission .... ND.
4 Nov 13
Paul Hudson has found an interesting, deeply pigmented apple in Cheshire, and kindly sent some fruit and seeds. It is very deeply pigmented;
as dark as Etter's 'Grenadine'. Here are my pictures:
3 Nov 13
Permaculture is a way of growing plants and using land which minimises environmental damage and one which is intended to leave the land in a better condition than it was before. Both taster sessions and more substantial courses are available.
Although from the Transition Town network, this is not man-made-climate-change propaganda but a fresh look at how land and plants might be cultivated. Definitely worth considering.- Ed
Taster Sessions, Friends Meeting House,Queens Rd, Leicester, LE2 1WP. Sat 2 Nov & Sat 7 Dec 2013, 11am and 2pm; display open 10.30-4pm. Details: click link
18 Oct 13
TREE WITH 250 APPLE VARIETIES
Paul Barnett, living in Sussex, has made an apple tree containing about 250 apple varieties.There was an interesting article about this in the Daily Mail on 30 Sep 2013. A low resolution picture is shown below. The tree was also featured in the RHS magazine last year.
A family tree like this (probably with fewer varieties) is within the scope of anyone who can graft. It's excellent for those who are keen to try different kinds of apple but have limited space.
17 Aug 13
WHY HAVE MY APPLES GONE SPECKLED?
Classic infestation of an apple and stem with scale insects. The size is about 0.5mm x 2 mm and they don't look like insects until you get really close up. You never see them move, and they are glued firmly to the stem and fruit. To scrape them off one can use a piece of plastic, being careful not to damage the fruit or the bark. A solution of an aphicide should be applied afterwards if the infestation is bad; otherwise use soapy water. If ignored the insects will slowly kill the tree. Click the thumbnails for more detailed pictures.
17 Aug 13
THE NEED FOR THINNING
Here's a nice illustration of the need for thinning. This is Merton Knave, 16 Aug, about to break the fruiting spur. A seven-apple cluster; not very common.
16 Aug 13
PINK LADY CHIMERA
Interesting picture of an apple chimera in a commercial pack of Pink Lady; picture sent by Andrea Meek of Victoria, Australia. Reproduced by permission....many thanks, Andrea.
15 Aug 13
If you want to buy Leicestershire apple trees, please contact us.
19 Jun 13
Chris Miles of Packington, Leics. has reported that there is a Packington apple which he is trying to trace. The name is apparently 'Packington Summary', but at the time of writing no more information is available. If anyone can supply details, or can suggest where a tree might be found, please contact the website using the 'contact us' button, or use the address diversity(at)suttonelms.org.uk.
15 May 13
Most varieties are blossoming approximately a fortnight later than last year, and the recent mild weather has led to the blossom season being compressed into a much shorter time period than usual. Numerous varieties are coming into flower on the same day rather than in the normal sequence. Metton Roy, usually one of the last to bloom, is out already.
Here are some varieties which you are unlikely to have seen before:
Above: Burford's Redflesh and Huonville Crab, 10 May 2013.
Above: Scarlet Surprise and Mott's Pink blossom, 7 May 2013.
Above: Redlove Circe and Grenadine, 7 May 2013.
Above: Breunsdorfer, Maypole and Hidden Rose, 7 May 2013.
7 May 2013
MITES AND APHIDS
There are lots of mites and aphids around this year. From a distance the young flower buds look slightly brown and sometimes slightly distorted. On closer examination these clusters contain aphids or mites - almost too small to see, but looking like specks of soot and eating like crazy ... these have to be sprayed or there will be no fruit.
Here's an illustration: the left cluster is fine, showing five-fold symmetry and healthy appearance. The right cluster is infested. Click on the picture for more detail.
21 Apr 2013
Interesting piece on pollination on the Orangepippin site.
5 Feb 2013
GENETIC NARROWING: CHERRIES
Last year 'Diversity' (Reinhard Schomberg-Klee and Nigel Deacon) translated an interesting paper on genetic narrowing in commercial apples by H-J Bannier. We have now translated a related article on the restricted range of cherries available in Germany and elsewhere.
5 Feb 2013
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