We finished the summer pruning this weekend so now the espaliers and cordons are looking back in shape. We have decided that we will need to make some more radical changes to a few of them in the winter (if we were to do it now we would be cutting off to much fruit). The Brownlees Russet (near the central benches) has fluctuated between espalier and fan to try to make best use of the growth - however there has been significant damage were a branch split and we feel that the damaged area should be removed in winter. It still might not be clear whether this tree will be a fan or espalier, but not to worry, all we are trying to do is grow fruit in a resticted way...it doesn't have to be pretty! (though that had been the plan when we started out).
The Tydeman's Late Orange has folded over the wire and needs cutting back and we need to remove some of the top growth of the Court Pendu Plat and check over the others.
Some of the free growing trees were planted too close together so we have carried out a minimal amount of summer pruning in an attempt to restrict their growth, perhaps we should have been more radical? We will need to revisit the trees in winter and hope Martin will give us some guidance at Apple Day.
The trees are a really good example of how different varieties have different growing habits - Arthur Turner is going straight up (we need to get a long armed picker asap) whereas Blenheim Orange is stretching out horizontally.
Three branches have broken on Grandpa Buxton due to weight of fruit. They are not quite ripe yet but it is our first cooker to ripen adn we need to cut out the branches as we harvest.
Overall the harvest is looking promising with a good crop on the Bramley, Arthur Turner, Grandpa Buxton and Egremont Russet. It is disappointing that the Belle de Boskoop has no fruit this year but after the amazing crop last year it is not surprising, same with the Keswick Codlin. Not long before we will be in full harvesting and cooking mode. pip pip.