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Garden with established orchard but neglected for years Q1

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Tinkerbelle61, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. Tinkerbelle61

    Tinkerbelle61 Happiest Outdoors!

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    Hello all
    We moved in to a property where the bottom half of the garden originally belonged to a farmer where an old cottage existed with an extensive orchard. About 20 years ago the orchard land was divided up and sold to four adjacent properties. We moved in two and a half weeks ago, the property and garden was bought from the original owner so all work on the garden and orchard has been done by her alone. Unfortunately in her latter years was not able to look after the garden and it has been neglected for quite a few years.

    My first question is;

    There is a tree that we have been told is a pollinating tree, it has little reddish oval “fruits” that have almost all fallen off. We were told to do nothing to it, see photos below, we want to know what this tree is and if we should just ignore it as instructed? It is a bit sprawling and would like to cut it back a bit as the branches are right on my eye line.
    BABA4AC1-D5BD-44C7-904F-EA08D58D124E.jpeg
    57419381-ECDA-4931-AA5D-38DFC961F899.jpeg

    FE71CE78-569F-494C-88E3-ED9E385A1E5D.jpeg

    Thank you for any advice on this, we really don’t want to mess up the orchard. We have a number of other tree questions and will post them soon.

    Thanks
    Tink
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Is it some kind of plum?
    If so what are the other trees in the orchard.
     
  3. Tinkerbelle61

    Tinkerbelle61 Happiest Outdoors!

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    We were told it is a type of apple tree for pollination only, there is an old plum tree, a cooking apple tree and an eating apple tree. The plum tree is not well and I have posted a thread about this separately. Both the cooking and eating apple trees are doing really well. We don’t know what the variety of these two apple trees, see photos below.

    Cooking apple tree
    BE97C43E-EDAE-40C6-A72D-FE54F9CCC751.jpeg
    63387A0D-61CA-4672-A9E3-ADDB28DE5616.jpeg

    Eating apple tree
    BE97C43E-EDAE-40C6-A72D-FE54F9CCC751.jpeg
    63387A0D-61CA-4672-A9E3-ADDB28DE5616.jpeg

    Thanks for your reply @pete
     

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  4. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    So is it a crab apple?
     
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    • NigelJ

      NigelJ Total Gardener

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      @Tinkerbelle61 Cut one of the fruit from the"pollinating tree" in half and see if it has a stone or pips.
      If pips then I'd say agree with Pete and say a crab apple. These were and still are used as pollinators for apple trees.
      The apple trees don't look too bad, a bit crowded, buts that all.
      When the leaves drop from the apple trees and the crab apple I would have thought you could remove some of the growth without a problem. Remove any obviously diseased or dead bits, remove crossing branches, thin growths and open up the centre to allow good air circulation.
      Add a book on growing fruit to Christmas list, read Christmas Day and start pruning Boxing Day.
       
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      • Tinkerbelle61

        Tinkerbelle61 Happiest Outdoors!

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        Thanks @pete and @NigelJ we will do as advised in the morning and see what’s inside. Will start an apple tree diary!!!
         
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        • CanadianLori

          CanadianLori Total Gardener

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          I've never seen oval crabapples. Is this common over there?
           
        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          A possibility.
          Malus John Downie Tree
           
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          • shiney

            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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            • Tinkerbelle61

              Tinkerbelle61 Happiest Outdoors!

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            • Tinkerbelle61

              Tinkerbelle61 Happiest Outdoors!

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              Okay, so I don’t think it is a Malus John Downie tree as the fruits are so small? (I have size 7 glove size hands, small size).

              6610CDBD-C68F-4B96-B28F-353E44300039.jpeg

              But I did cut these four up this morning @NigelJ and they look just like mini apples inside with pips, so I guess it must be a type of mini crab apple tree.

              2CDBE24C-B572-4F8C-B112-6A83C9B011A8.jpeg

              Thanks all for your help on this, will look to but back the dead growth and make some room for ventilation at Christmas time.

              Tink
               
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              • NigelJ

                NigelJ Total Gardener

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                Agreed; apple type, could still be John Downie just a lot of smaller fruit, tree probably needs a good feed and some TLC.
                 
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                • pete

                  pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  It was quite common to use crabapple as pollenators in orchards.
                   
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                  • Tinkerbelle61

                    Tinkerbelle61 Happiest Outdoors!

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                    What and when would you say we should feed the crab apple tree for plenty of blossoms in the spring next year @NigelJ ? And should I rake away all the fallen fruits and leaves, clear a bit of the ground around the base of the trunk too? Any other TLC you would recommend please?

                    Thanks
                    Tink
                     
                  • NigelJ

                    NigelJ Total Gardener

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                    @Tinkerbelle61 I would clear up the fallen fruit and fallen leaves and I would also clear the grass away from the trunk say a 2ft all round. As for feeding spring time as the buds swell, I'd use blood, fish and bone according to the instructions on the packet. Given the amount of fruit this year there will probably be plenty of flowers next spring anyway.
                     
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