Friday 1st February 2013: Bowling Park Community Orchard

We had a productive day the orchard, encouraged by the occasional warmth of the sun and a feeling of spring (in truth these moments were short lived, the wind was fairly bitter and we needed to keep busy to be warm).

We completed almost all of the winter pruning of the apples and pears, with the exception of checking the trained fruit for any disease or damage that will need removing. A few of the trees have areas of canker, and we took the decision to remove a branches from Kidd’s Orange Red and Peasgood Nonsuch, as much to see how they respond as they both have disease in the lower trunk that we cannot remove. A few of the trees, in particular the Allington Pippin and Winston are very crowded. They have a growth habit of lots of twiggy branches. We removed a fair few branches but on our next visit we guess it will be hard to tell that we had done anything.

Blackcurrant, redcurrant, gooseberry, rhubarb and strawberries were planted in beds. Encroaching plants were removed from the boundary near the Egremont Russet and the cornus was cut back at the top of the site.

The last of the stored apples were distributed and we talked about the orchard’s forthcoming 10th birthday, which we will formally celebrate at blossom time on 3rd May.

Today we worked with 11 volunteers.