Sunday, 17 February 2013


The orchard has now been planted: seventeen fruit trees, and a further five ornamental deciduous trees. Later, we'll add the Scot's Pines, and there's space to add another 2–6 full size trees (that is, some more ornamental or fruit trees) over the next couple of years.

Each tree is in a decent planting pit, with extra compost and sand mixed into the soil. They each have a 6' post (2.5" diameter), and a metre of chicken wire, wrapped into a tube, secured around them with a pair of bamboos (to protect the main stem from deer).

The four plums and one walnut are tall enough to have their leader cut, ready to start growing laterals at that height as standards: most of the rest need to grow on for another year or more. In the next few weeks, we'll trim back any laterals they all have, to encourage the main stem to grow taller and thicker. The aim is to have a clear trunk up to around the 5'6"–6' mark, and then a framework of branches above that. Standards take up more space (but there's plenty of that), but have high yields, and aren't as vulnerable to deer -- in the case of the walnuts, it's also to reduce squirrel nut-theft...

Panorama of the orchard, from the kitchen gate (© Ian 2013)

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