Almond and Cherry 2019 crop destroyed. Different reasons

Ok I do not grow huge numbers of Almond and Cherry trees, in comparison to a fruit farmer. But I was looking forward to a taste.

Almond and Cherry 2019 crop destroyed
Almond and Cherry 2019 crop destroyed

The Almonds were no where near ready, with another 3 to 4 months to grow. Similarly the cherries were rock hard and yellow.

I had planned to get my mesh covering out over last weekend, but the whole crop had dissappeared.

The 2 events (almond disappearance and the cherry disappearance) occured at the same time, but for different reasons.

The Almonds had the outer husks and nut shells shattered with the kernels missings. Broken bits all over the floor. The main culprit are squirrels.

The Cherries had all the outer ‘flesh’ stripped off, and the pip left lying on the floor. Unfortuneatly I had no camera at the time. When I came back most of the pips had dissapeared, with just an odd few laying with holes in the pip, with kernel missing. Culprits for the flesh would be pigeons, and blackbirds. The hole in the pip, would me mice.

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2019 DNA Testing – Fruit Tree Leaves sent off today.

Coming to the end of June is the last time for sending in fruit tree leaf samples for DNA Analysis. These were sent to East Malling Research Establishment via Fruitid. I have sent 8 leaves of the following, and hopefully I will get a result. The Fruitid project is for pomologists, orchardists and fruit enthusiasts, whereas NIAB EMR’s DNA analysis is available to business’s.

Apple 1 – A local apple that hangs well into the New Year, green/yellow skinned.

NO IMAGE

Apple 2 – An apple sent to be from via USA many years ago. Never have been able to confirm its identity.

Apple 3 – An apple bought 25 years ago, from a well known UK supplier (who is no longer in business). Never have been able to confirm its identity from day one, or 3 years down the line. Skin colour when fully ripe is red all over, a really nice eating apple. All tags long dissappeared.

Apple 4 – An apple bought 25 years ago, from a well known UK supplier (who is no longer in business). Never have been able to confirm its identity from day one, or 3 years down the line. All tags long dissappeared. Skin very red on the sunny side and green/yellow on the opposite. Never goes fully red.

Pear 1 – A very old small July harvested pear. The original tree is over 100 years old and is on its last legs. Tried grafting onto quince, but always failed. Got one measily specimen gowing on Pyrodwarf.

Cherry 1 – Sold to me 25 years ago, as with the other 2 varieties above. Before the label dissapeared, the name was logged. But it is not that name.

NO IMAGE

Hopefully we keep you informed with any details, and we will update this page.

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Sticky Gum exuding from Plum tree – Gummosis

I am asked a number of times, as to what the sticky gum is exuding from plum trees. Most often it is called ‘Gummosis’. This can brought on by stresses to a tree.

In our orchard this only occurs with the Prunus species of Almonds ‘Prunus armeniaca’ and Plums ‘Prunus Domestica’. We do not have any on Cherries ‘Prunus Avium’, Peaches ‘Prunus Persica’ or on Japanese Plums ‘Prunus Salicina’. This may be just good luck, as it does occur in other countries.

The cause is normally due from uneven watering causing the bark to split, and resin to exude. Which can happen at any time of the year, but normally in the spring, when growth is rapid and key minerals are not available in the soil. This split allows the disease organism ‘Pseudomonas syringae’ or ‘Pseudomonas morsprunorum’ to enter through the wound.

This split or crack in the bark can occur due to a freeze during the intial spring growing phase.

The unnatural stresses are where the bark has been cut when pruning, or by insects penetrating the bark, as with Peach Twig Borers (not normal in the UK). This can allow Phytophthora infections to enter and gradually kill a branch or the tree.

For further reading and more technical details please refer to https://www.fusion360inc.com/bark-necrosis-and-gummosis-diagnosis-and-treatment/

Gummosis

This gum, can be initially relatively clear, turning very hard and dark brown after a month.

At present there is no known cure. But there are numerous new chemicals coming onto the market as a prevention. But once a tree has it, there is no cure.

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Not enough Rain yet – May 2019

Is this the start of this years drought. Our clay soil is already cracking up. We have not had a wet or snowy winter, and so far not enough spring rain. Our water butts are nearly empty.

We nearly had a downpour, but it missed up by about 5 miles.

Missed this Storm
Soil Cracking up in May
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Sweet Chestnut (Castanea) Gall Wasp – Take Note

I am highlighting the problem of the Sweet Chestnut (Castanea) Gall Wasp or “Dryocosmus kuriphilus”. This pest has had, I believe a few occurances in the UK. But it was detected for the first time in Spain in 2012, the species spread very quickly and its is now present in extensive areas of the distribution area of Castanea sativa in the Iberian peninsula. Today, it is threatening the rich chestnut fruit production of areas of Galicia and Andalucía, where heavy infestations have been detected.

It is a native species in China, from it was accidently introduced. It has many localised pockets in Italy and France, and it is caused significant drops in nut production.

The wasp lays its eggs in the buds, during autumn. Then when the leaves begin to unfurl in the spring, the eggs hatch, which then turn into larvae (the ‘grubs’, or immature life stage) causes abnormal growths, called galls, to form on the buds, leaves, and petioles (leaf stalks).

These galls or blisters are green turning a reddish colour in June, before the gall wasp emerges. The leaves tend to get distorted, as can be seen in the first photo.

High numbers of galls can weaken trees and make them more vulnerable to other pests and diseases, especially sweet chestnut blight, which is caused by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica

Sweet Chestnut (Castanea) Gall Wasp – Gall at leaf tip
Sweet Chestnut (Castanea) Gall Wasp – Gall at leaf tip
Sweet Chestnut (Castanea) Gall Wasp – Cluster of Galls
Sweet Chestnut (Castanea) Gall Wasp – Gall in Petioles (Leaf stalk)
Sweet Chestnut (Castanea) Gall Wasp – larvae
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Peach – Viktors a very sweet and very juicy crop for 2018

Peach – Viktors a very sweet and very juicy crop for 2018

A most promising variety that was registered in Latvia in 2004. Fruits are medium, round, yellow with red skin, and white flesh. Juicy, very tasty. Harvest – July beginning of August. It is very fertile. It is recommended to reduce the number of fruit buds ensure fruit size.

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A few more showey photos of Peach Blossom 24th March 2019

This first photo today is called ‘Velvet’ of Canadian origin. It is an early variety, harvesting fruit in July. Resistant to frost with fruit medium sized, pale yellow, rose red cover. They are juicy, sweet, with flesh semi clinging/free to the stone.

The next photo is Peach called ‘Doneckij Bielyj’. Originating from Ukraine. It stands out from other varieties of large fruits that their colour and size similar to lilac apples, very heavy, weighing up to 150-200g. Very early start cropping, especially the fresh, sweet and sour taste, very juicy. Ripen in mid-August. Developed for shorter growing seasons and less demanding in terms of heat

With the final peach photo of a variety called ‘Maira’. Derived from Latvia. This is another frost-resistant variety. Fruits ripen in the second half of July. They are medium-sized and large (up to 150g), greenish-white flesh. Juiciness of the fruit so that you can just have a drink! Very valuable, dessert peach variety. Drops to the ground when very ripe.

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A White Cloud of ‘Aprisali’ Apricot Blossom 24th March 2019

Well not quite true as Aprisali is in fact an Apricot Plum cross. Quite a new self fertile variety that is hardy and thus suitable for colder regions. The skin colour is almost jet black, with a red juicey sweet flesh.

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Plum Tree Pollarded and new shoots

I have a plum tree in my orchard, that is growing on the wrong rootstock. As it is growing massively to tall. I cannot reach the top to harvest the small crop of scion wood or fruit. So something drastic had to happen. Well I decided to pollard it right down to approx 5ft or 1.5m tall.

I was going to do multiple crown grafts, but I have not got any replacement trees on smaller rootstocks of this plum variety. More importantly I had got to get some. Just below the main cuts on the trunk you can see small buds breaking. I should have some nice scion wood next winter and then re graft as well.

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Peach Flowers 23rd March 2019

Here we have just a selection of Peaches that are in flower now.

Peach UFO 4 ®

Peach Flat – UFO 4 ®

Description –
Ripening date is -23 days before Redhaven. Its is an Italian variety that produces high and consistent flat fruit. With the fruit being greenish-white with 80% bright red blush; sweet flavour, very good (>14°Brix), white melting flesh, very firm; size AA (average fruit size about 120 g).
Overall: variety with high and consistent yield of large fruit with excellent flavour.

Garden Gold – Genetic Dwarf Peach or Patio Peach

Genetic Dwarf Peach or Patio Peach – Garden Gold

Description –
Intense pink blossoms appear in spring, with fruit ripening in August. The fruit are bright golden colour with a red blush.

Peach – Shimizu White Ice

Peach – Shimizu White Ice

Description –
A Japanese favourite fruit which is harvested late July to early August. The trademark of the milky white peach, is by bagging each individual fruit. This prevents the sun from producing its normal peach colour. Bagging also protects the fruit from pests and wind and rain. The protected environment inside the bag produces a soft, delicate fruit with skin that peels easily.
Shimizu White Peach, is the most famous variety, and it is referred to as the ‘Queen of Peaches’, for it has a splendid blend of soft texture, juice and sweet fragrance.

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