Sunday, 19 April 2009

Biennial bearers

Some varieties haven't been very obliging this year. I suspect some of the apples have true biennial tendencies as they cropped well last year, but with the pears it might just irregular cropping.

Vista Bella, Orlean Reinette and Devonshire Quarrenden all fruited abundantly last year, but have absolutely no flowers this year. Ellison's is always rather shy to flower, and has just a couple of flowering spurs again this year. Rosemary Russet cropped very well last year, but again, only a few flowering spurs this year. Egremont did well last year, but isn't overloaded with blossom. I suspect in this case the tree isn't 100% happy being grown as a cordon though, over all, it produces very well.

(Pear) Forelle produced only a small amount of blossom last year, and set only one fruit. No flowers again this year, though it is spurring well. Dr Jules flowered for the first time in years, but only 2 spurs have set fruit. Beurré Hardy didn't flower either. Max Russet Bartlett has been quite shy, probably because most of the the buds blacken and shrivel through the winter. I have it growing as an espalier, grafted on to Red Comice on a warm, dry SW wall. If it doesn't thrive here I may as well remove it. A shame, as when it does produce, the fruit is large, well-coloured and an excellent culinary/exhibition variety (perhaps swop for Double de Guerre?).

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