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Fruit Trees


Gyn_Paul
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Last Spring (and the previous Autumn as well, I think) I planted a collection of fruit trees: all the usual suspects - as they can along in Aldi and Lidl. Also a pair of Bramleys from a (not so local) supplier. So they've all been settled in the ground for 10-14 months and this is their 1st real Springtime.

So my Q is, What - if anything - should I be applying to them/treating them with? And what pruning, if any,  should be done to 1st year growth?

paul 

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We've had what we call an orchard for a few years now, with very mixed results. So I won't give you any advice except to say, ask your neighbours who have the same kind of tree. It's a big topic.

They're all different, with different diseases, and treatments. Each year produces different results. eg after about 4 years with this garden, we thought a large tree near the house must be an almond, as it never had any fruit, then one year we saw these golden globes on it - it was an apricot!

I'll be interested to see what happens to your Bramleys, they might need a compatible pollinator.

Bouillie Bordelaise seems to be the treatment of choice, and some paint the the trunks with white stuff to deter the climbing insects, which have been over- winterting in the soil.

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Not really enough information in the original post but here some ideas.

If you planted the trees without any additional fertiliser (and maybe if you did) I would add a slow release fertiliser - Horn and Hoof/Corne something or other. Sprinkle on the surface and lightly rake in and cover with a mulch - I use a cheap terre universal: I am trying to add humus and not any additional nutrients.

I don't spray, but many do. I do however put grease bands around the trunks each early spring. If you have grass growing around the trees make sure there are no stalks bridging the band. The bands stop the creepy crawlies from climbing up the trunk. Remove in summer. You could also apply fresh bands in autumn.

Unless you have cordon tress - and Aldi, Lidl and Bramley are three words that suggest you don't - I would not do any pruning in the first full year unless you have damaged branches or badly crossing branches where one branch is rubbing the bark off another.

Growing fruit trees is a game of patience. If you do get fruit setting in any quantity this year, I would remove most of it. certainly if you have 2 fruit develop on the same sprig, reduce this to one. If you just leave them, the tree will probably do a lot of this for you in July, but the remaining fruits will already be smaller and will not reach their full potential.

As Pat says, Bramleys are a bit of a problem and frankly I wonder why we English love them so much. They are difficult to pollinate and are themselves sterile and do not pollinate other trees. They tend to biannual cropping with nothing one year and a glut the next. The apples, while large, are nothing to look at, they are sour and when cooked, if overcooked for 5 seconds turn to a cotton wool mouthful.

Lest you think my comments are disparaging, I have to say that all my trees are from Aldi, Lidl and Super U (remainders) except one and yes I also sourced a not very local Bramley!!
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Thank you both for your timely replies. To each his own, I suppose. I prefer Bramleys as a cooking apple W-A-Y above and beyond anything else I can find in the supermarkets here. Canada Gris are almost as good, but if it's puree you are after then there's nothing to beat a Bramley in my opinion!

The grower I bought them from said you won't get anything (even blossom) the first year, then in yr 2 (as you suggest Andy) he said, "take everything off: you won't, because nobody does, but you should ! Then in year 3 you might get a couple of kilos, but don't expect the fruit you see in Tesco's - the size of grapefruit - until the tree is at least 10 years old"! (I'll be mid-70's by then!).

I surrounded them with suggested compatible polinators, but since the info came from an English website, I worry that the blossom times might be different here in the Limousin. I shall watch carefully to see which flowers when this year.

Right. Off to Gamme Vert for sticky bands.

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I have to agree regarding cooking apples and French supermarkets. They really have no idea what a cooking apple is. That is why I did plant a Bramley myself. There are however (in the UK at least) several better cooking varieties IMHO.

If the Bramley were discovered/first grown today, I really do think it would be consigned to the bonfire. But as you say each to his own tastes.
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I agree about french supermarkets and cooking apples. I use canada gris, with a squeeze of lemon juice, but they lack the sort of fizz on the tongue of the Bramley.

During my first pregnancy I had a craving for uncooked Bramleys, in crunchy slices.

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[quote user="andyh4"]

If the Bramley were discovered/first grown today, I really do think it would be consigned to the bonfire. But as you say each to his own tastes.[/quote]I couldn't agree more.  Crisp, acidic and without flavour.  I don't believe that anyone who experienced the range of quality (and non-commercial) British apples would ever wish to cook again with a Bramley, or to sink their teeth into a 'Golden Delicious'.

When I first began my French orchard (in the previous millennium) I was determined to have a decent and aromatic cooking apple so  -  knowing that nothing of this kind would be available in France  -  brought over some scions of the ancient and entirely hollow Newton Wonder in the corner of my garden.

French people, unsurprisingly, have been uniformly amazed at its flavour, and one in parrticular had the greatest of difficulty believing that it was anything as workaday as an apple that he was eating.

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Well I've plenty of space left in the field (how many trees does one need, I wonder, for it to officially be termed 'an orchard'?), and was planning to pick up another trailer-full next time Aldi get some in (it's either that or a trip to Floralux in Belgium, but - rather like Ikea - I find it hard to get out of there for under E500) so as I'm always keen to add something which comes with a personal recommendation.... is Newton Wonder a commerically grown variety? If so, where would one get a couple?

paul

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