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Rivers Heritage

Orchard Maintenance Diary 2015

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Monthly Maintenence December 2015

A windy day prohibited pruning the taller trees, but we had a large delivery of old pallets for Wassail firewood to keep us busy carrying it across the to the woodpile.

After that, we spent some time tidying up and reshaping the trees that underwent heavy pruning last winter and continued pruning some of the younger apple trees. Hopefully the weather will be more suitable for major pruning next time!

Many thanks to our volunteers: Rob, Adrienne, Keith, Eric, Elisabeth, Hazel and Dave.

Monthly Maintenence November 2015


A bumper crop of apples this year meant that even following appleday2015.php apple day there were many fruits left behind for our volunteers to take home and enjoy. We sampled the delights of the Cox's Orange Pippin and Bramley apples before getting on with the important work in the orchard.

With the trees not yet dormant, it was too early for major pruning, but we it is a good time of year to remove deadwood from trees that we wish to prume later. We decided to focus this winter on pruning the trees at the edge of the meadow and those near the path from the meadow to the orchard, as well as tidy up those that we pruned last year near the bridge. This area contains many trees that have not been pruned for many years, and some in need of a regeneration.

As well as removing dead wood from these trees, our volunteers also cut back the hedge in places where it was encroaching into the fruit trees and causing them to suffer. We also cut a dead apple tree and a dead plum tree back to stumps to try to prevent further spread of disease through the orchard and continued the task or re-labelling the trees in the orchard.

Many thanks to our volunteers: Rob, Adrienne, Steph, Keith, Eugene, Elisabeth, Hazel and Dave.

Monthly Maintenence October 2015

With apple day the following weekend, maintenance focussed on preparing for this main event. Volunteers ensured that all the apple trees in the orchard were properly labelled, checked which apple trees still held a good crop checked the site for any hidden holes or nasties - including a large wasp nest at the High Wych end of the orchard.

We also spent time picking some of the pears and apples that benefit from some time off the tree before tasting (such as the Egremont Russet) and some cooking apples (Bramley and Newton Wonder) that volunteers will use to bake cakes and biscuits for apple day.

Remember to turn up on apple day to enjoy the fruits of our labour!

Many thanks to our volunteers: Rob, Adrienne, Steph, Michael, Eugene and Andre.

Monthly Maintenence September 2015

With the rain eventually clearing at the end of September, it was time for the annual grass cutting. After one volunteer prepared the site by carefully strimming around all the young trees and tree stumps, the job was handed over the Richard Newman, a local landscape gardener. It's a tricky job cutting between all the trees, but both the meadow and orchard now look lovely and clear and ready for the public on apple day.

After weeks of rain, a pleasent September morning saw seven volunteers turn up to help in the orchard. Without the grass yet cut, many of the usual September activities in preparation for apple day had to be delayed, but many of the early fruit could be harvested for the volunteers to take home.

We had a good day picking Discovery, Lady Sudeley, Red Sudeley, Emneth Early apples for eating and to make into chutney for apple day. We also collected a large bag of our damsons that we hope to make into jam to sell as well. At the end of the day, volunteers got to sample many of our other fruits, including the delicious Early Transparent Gage and Pitmaston Pineapple apple.

Remember to turn up on apple day to enjoy the fruits of our labour!

Many thanks to our volunteers: Rob, Adrienne, Luke, Annelise, Eric, Ruth, Eugene.

Monthly Maintenence August 2015

A beautiful sunny August morning saw an excellent turnout of volunteers at the orchard. So many people that we even needed to collect extra tools!

The hedge at the north side of the orchard (and in the meadow) had been encroaching towards the fruit trees and was causing considerable damage to some of the more valuable trees. Cutting the hedge is a difficult task - care must be taken not to damage the adjacent trees with falling branches! Our volunteers used saws, loppers and even machetes to clear the hawthorn, blackthorn, brambles, etc back from the fruit trees to help them recover. The hedge trimmings were then (fairly!) neatly pushed back into the hedge to try (and probably fail!) to keep those pesky Muntjac deer from nibbling the fresh apple leaves.

An excellent days work by all, and our intrepid horticulturists were rewarded with a crop of excellent Laxtons Early plums from the tree at the edge of the meadow. Hopefully that made up for the cuts and scratches inflicted by the more spiky plants in the hedge.

Many thanks to our volunteers: Rob, Katy, Eugene, Dean, Adrienne, Geoff, Nickie, Hazel, Dave, Michael and Eric.

Maintenance Day Years:2015201620172018201920202021