Monday, 15 August 2011

Denniston's superb...

... has finally lived up to it's name. Boughs of excellent quality fruit bending branches, but also attracting legions of wasps. Like Devoe, they had started to swell and crack following drought/heavy rainfall, allowing wasps easy access. Its actually quite dangerous harvesting with this level of wasp activity, we resorted to protecting hands and removing whole branches rather than picking individual fruits by hand. Another reason was that much of the fruit was on wood that had migrated northwards over the fence. Didn't measure the crop - a certain amount was wasp-spoiled and discarded, plus we ate an awful lot as we were picking. We've been eating about 8 a day for the last week, with half a tray still left.

I think the reason for the sudden increase in crop is due to not pruning extension growth at all last year (which did mean it had got rather out of control). The tree isn't trained as such, but vI don't think this variety likes being pruned at all. We removed two large uprights, nearly 6' long (which would have taken the overall height to way over 12 feet if left), from the centre of the tree and removed most of those overhanging the fence. Will try to 'festoon' new growth from lower on the trunk, and try to tie down extension growth of the main 'T' shape just to keep it tidy and accessible. This is about as late as I would ever want to prune a plum to avoid silverleaf.

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