Snow in the Orchard January 2021

Just a few snow shots in the orchard, and panoramic views over the Rainsbrook valley looking towards Rugby.

Winter Snow in the Orchard February 2021

Winter Snow in the Orchard February 2021

Winter Snow in the Orchard February 2021

Row of Apples on MM106 rootstock February 2021

Winter Snow in the Orchard February 2021

In between the rows in the Orchard February 2021

The snow only lasted 2 days, then some high pressure came over and the temperature rose above freezing, and a little bit of rain. Snow virtually all gone. Might have a day or so rest-bite, but then heavy rain forecast.

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A really dirty looking apple with large Water Core

In gathering any apples left hanging, that might be useful for cooking. We found 2 apples that were very dirty looking, but very heavy. We assumed they were going to be hard and good for cooking. They were added to all the others from different trees and taken home.

It was only whilst preparing them for cooking that the first apple was thrown away. The 2nd apple was checked out in greater depth, and it was found to have Water Core for all of the flesh. This is why it weighed heavy, it was just water.

Unfortuneatly we did not note the variety, so it will have to wait till next year.

What is water core – An extract from https://www.yara.co.uk/crop-nutrition/apples/reducing-water-core-occurrence-in-apples/ says the following.

Water core develops in mature apples when the sugar sorbitol is translocated into the fruit faster than it can be assimilated. The area surrounding the core becomes water-soaked or translucent and may appear glassy and hard…..Inadequate supply of calcium is a major contributing factor.

Water Core

Water Core

Water Core

Water Core

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A little advice re Solar Panels connected to Trail Cameras

Here we have one small detail that I overlooked in installing a Solar Panel to my battery charger setup, plugged into my trail cameras.

This information may be quite minor, but it is not detailed anywhere. Maybe people already know this but..

Peeling Plastic Film

Peeling Plastic Film

This detail only became apparent, when the solar panel had been left in the sunshine for month or so. It was noted that a thin plastic film was peeling off and going brittle at the edges.

Peeling Plastic Film Being Removed

Peeling Plastic Film Being Removed

I should have known. But this shows me peeling off the film. You might know get a few more volts/current out of the panel.

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Requested photos of Newly Formed Roots and Callusing of Rootstock

Many people have asked how do the roots form on rootstock. The basic’s are the same for any hardwood cuttings and there propagation.

Callused Hardwood Rootstock

Callused Hardwood Rootstock

Here we have a bundle callused rootstocks, just come out of the heated beds. Most are callused, with the odd few not taken, and a few with adventurious roots. The cuttings here are of various diameters ranging from 4mm to 10mm, makes no difference at this stage.

Adventurious Roots

Adventurious Roots

Another bundle has a few more even longer adventurious roots. I think these are ‘Colt’ rootstock, not normally propagated using hardwood cuttings. As they normally are grown in stool beds. But all cuttings here are approx the same diameter.

Callused Hardwood Cuttings

Callused Hardwood Cuttings

The above photo shows really nice callusing all around the circumference. You may just see very slight root formation near the centre of the RH photo.

Intial Root Formation

Intial Root Formation

This a plum rootstock, showing very slight callusing, but really nice root formation. Some roots forming from the base as well as from the sides.

Very Adventurious Roots

Very Adventurious Roots

Sometimes things do not go to plan. I think this adventurious root has got a mind of its own.

Roots Lost Direction

Roots Lost Direction

I am not too sure where this root thinks its going. Its growing vertical from the callus.

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Apple – William Crump – Nov 2020

William Crump is a relatively large apple by modern standards. It was named after the head gardener at Madresfield Court in Worcesterhire in 1908. It is a cross between Cox’s Orange Pippin and Worcester Pearmain, hence its bright red skin and yellow flesh.

It is juicy sweet and acid when ripe (some say it tastes of pineapples), but mellows to a more sweet apple. It can store until February. It is primarily an eating apple, but due to its larger size, we use it for cooking. As it is more sweet, no extra sugar is needed in cooking.

It is spur bearing (watch out when pruning) and it is self sterile (needs another pollinator).

William Crump

William Crump

William Crump

William Crump

William Crump

William Crump

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Hens Turd Apple Variety – Nov 2020

I have a problem, this variety was given to me as scion wood. It is supposed to be a Hens Turd apple. I have no confirmed photo id of this variety, so I cannot verify it being correct.

If anybody can confirm it please contact me.

Hens Turd

Hens Turd

An article by the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust is as follows

October 2012  Hens’ Turd and Coccagee by Charles Martell

The Hens’ Turd apple is a Gloucestershire variety found at the riverside at Rodley. Recently, an Irish correspondent has written asserting this is the same variety as Coccagee. Certainly from its description it seems very similar although Hens’ Turd typically has a longer stem. Interestingly, the name Coccagee translates as goose turd. I don’t know whether Coccagee is still in existence but it was noted as a ‘very old and highly esteemed variety for culinary purposes, and especially for baking when it possesses a peculiarly rich flavour.’

Further; ‘This apple triumphs over all others in sauce, tarts and pies, as much as its juice in cider. No cook would ever make use of any other apple if he could get this.’ I wonder how these varieties earned their disparaging names. The only crude suggestion I can make is that these apples were used to stuff the bird, be it goose or fowl, before roasting.

My photos of this variety are as follows. In some ways the remark that it has a long stem (stalk) are correct. But mine is somewhat small and therefore not particularly good for peeling for culinary use.

However reference to Coccagee on Wikipedia   states

The fruit of the ‘Coccagee’ is small to medium-sized, ovate or conical, with pale yellow, green-flecked skin, the colour of which probably gave the variety its name.

As an addendum to this blog message 12th November 2020 – I have 4 fruit left on the tree, they certainly small. But the intial taste is very sweet with a distinct sharp aftertaste. The skin of the apple looks as though its covered with a grey/black mottled fungus mould or virus. But it does not rub off, it is part of the skinn. It does not seem to affect the flesh.

Hens Turd

Hens Turd

Hens Turd

Hens Turd

Hens Turd

Hens Turd

Hens Turd

 

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Buzzards eating post in an old tree – Nov 2020

We have a gappy hedge that was overgrown, with branches bending over laying over the ground. The hedge is primarily blackthorn, with the odd hawthorn and and old (almost dead) oak tree. I can understand about the oak giving up, as it has its roots in waterlogged ground. The ground is heavy clay, with this gappy hedge running along a stream. Many of the blackthorn trees are also leaning over, taking a wire fence out with it.

But in climbing up an old tree to cut off some over hanging branches, it was noticed that there were patches of sheep wool, high up. It must have been about  16ft up (5m), in the crouch of the tree there also bones on some sort of bird.

It is assumed that it must be an eating place for a buzzard. As nothing else powerful enough in the UK could have put a dead sheep (probably still born lamb) up a tree. This tree has been left, and trail cameras put up to hopefully record something. Thinking about getting some cheap butchers meat and putting it up there as bait.

Buzzard food/eating store

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Dawlish Countryside Park Orchard – October 2020

Somewhere different and never been too before, and it has 2 orchards. This is Dawlish Countryside Park in Devon, UK. This is a very popular dog walking area for locals as well as visitors, but there is always a human being not clearing up after there dogs. It lets the side down. Most people taking dogs for a walk were friendly and approachable, and willing to pass the time of day with you and your dog.

A bit dissapointing re the 2 orchards. It looks like they were planted 5 years ago. All had substantial deer guarding. But labelling is always a problem, some had paper signs, but most had no identity.

Then just a quick mention re fencing of other tree plantations. These are just wood posts with 1.8m (6ft) tall wire fencing. Stop the deer jumping in.

 

 

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A big apple ‘Lanes Prince Albert’ 30th Oct 2020

A shiny rich green cooking apple with orange-red flushing, keeps its shape when cooked. Originated in Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire C. 19th. Quite a healthy tree as it is reasonably diease resistant.

It is a variety that does not need any sugar adding when used in cooking. The sizes of our fruit can be over 15cm diameter and a weight over 500 grams or 1.1 lbs (pounds).

Harvesting in the middle of October, and can be stored until March.

Scions are available here

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Most Popular Sold Rootstocks, Scions and Trees

We are very often asked which rootstock and scion varieties are most popular. So we finally got our heads down and worked it out. The percentage given is over the previous 3 years to the current date.

ROOTSTOCK
MM106 – Apple Rootstock – Bare Rooted 16%
M26 – Apple Rootstock – Bare Rooted 13%
M111 – Apple Rootstock – Bare Rooted 8%
M9 – Apple Rootstock – Bare Rooted 7%
M27 – Apple Rootstock – Bare Rooted 6%
M25 – Apple Rootstock – Bare Rooted 5%
St Julian A – Plum Rootstock – Bare Rooted 4%



SCIONS
Apple – Cox’s Orange Pippin – Scion 15%
Apple – Pitmaston Pineapple – Scion 13%
Plum – Mirabelle – Scion 11%
Apple – Bramley – Scion 11%
Apple – Gala – Scion 9%
Apple – Braeburn – Scion 9%
Apple – Devonshire Quarrenden – Scion 8%


TREES
Apple – Barnack Orange – Potted grafted MM106 Rootstock 11%
Apple – Herefordshire Redstreak – MM106 Bare Rooted 11%
Apple – Martins Custard – Potted grafted MM106 Rootstock 11%
Persimmon – Hatchia – Bare Rooted 11%
Apple – Leicester Burton – Potted grafted MM106 Rootstock 9%
Apple – Marriage Maker – Potted grafted MM106 Rootstock 9%
Apple – Sweetings – Potted grafted MM106 Rootstock 9%
Plum – Kolonovidnaja – Bare Rooted St Julian A 9%

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