Up the Apples and Pears

 Fun Fact: 'Up the Apples and Pears' is well-known Cockney rhyming slang for ascending the stairs. But did you know that children of a more elevated social status were told to 'go up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire'?

The apple and pear crop is now safely gathered in ...

Concorde Pears (top), Red Windsor Apple (left) and Red Falstaff Apple (right)

This year has produced an excellent crop of Concorde Pears (115 good-sized fruits from the single espalier). The Comice pears continue to disappoint yield-wise though not taste-wise.

Excluding crab apples, we have 8 apple trees - all different varieties:

  • Reverend W Wilks - crops biennially, heavy crop last year, nothing this year
  • Golden Delicious - heavy crop of small apples last year, 2 large apples this year
  • Red Windsor - Supercolumn, small first crop lat year (4 apples), heavy cropping this year with 16 good-sized apples
  • Red Falstaff - Supercolumn, first year of cropping 10 good-sized apples
  • Blenheim Orange - Supercolumn, nothing this year, 2 medium-sized apples last year
  • Arthur Turner - Supercolumn, yet to crop
  • Hereford Russet - First crop last year (1 apple), nothing this year
  • Gala Must - First crop last year (2 apples), nothing this year

The Supercolumns were planted in the Autumn of 2018, so this is their fourth season. The Golden Delicious apple tree is the oldest - between 15 and 20 years old but stunted from spending too long in a pot! The Rev Wilks is somewhere between 10 and 15 years old (probably) and the tree looking most like an apple tree.

The Supercolumn trees are on super dwarfing M27 rootstock for growing as closely-spaced (two foot) columns. The Red Windsor and Red Falstaff cropped so heavily that I had to provide addition support.

Red Windsor Supercolumn (late August)

Red Falstaff Supercolumn (late August)

I would highly recommend the Red Windsor and Red Falstaff fruit trees, no matter what format they are grown in. Tasty apples and heavy croppers and relatively disease-free for apples. The Blenheim Orange, Hereford Russet and Rev Wilks were somewhat 'emotional' buys - our abode in Hereford is Blenheim House and we had a Rev Wilks tree when we lived in London. Arthur Turner (cooking apple) and Gala Must are partly there for cross-pollination purposes. Probably best to leave your 'emotions' at home when buying your fruit trees - go for modern varieties if you want regular and consistent croppers. I did hear on the radio that Red Windsor is now being grown (in Kent, I think) for the commercial market so you may see it in the shops.


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