Giant Autumn Roundup: Tree Fruit (1)

Falstaff, after forking, needed emergency stakes. It will be pruned and re-staked in the Winter.

It’s been a difficult year for stone fruit. The relentless rain followed by near drought seems to have done nice things to some people’s fruit but for me, on a hill, it’s been pretty disastrous.

Since we’re going on a virtual tour of the allotment I’ll do this in several sections as we hit each part of the plot. First up is the oldest row of cordons. In general, I’m allowing these to grow a little taller this year – each one is allowed to grow as tall as I can reach without a stepladder.

Apple: Red Windsor. This is a fairly decent apple, not one I’d bother growing again if I was starting from scratch but still perfectly edible. Edible, that is, when it fruits. It had a few fruit on it, but just one came to term, the rest getting rot, and dropping off. A poor year.

Score: 3/10

Apple: Scrumptious. I’d never grow this from scratch again. It just doesn’t, IMHO, live up to its name.

Having said that, the few fruit that actually came to term this year weren’t as pappy as usual. I’ll give it a 5/10 for flavour this year.

Apple: Falstaff. An okay apple that fruited for the first time since it had a hiccup a couple of years ago, and died back. It’s forked and both forks fruited, giving a pretty decent crop. It needs reshaping, but generally I was pretty pleased with it.

Score 7/10

Pear- Concorde. A general, all-round variety that can be pretty good, but this year was a disaster – every fruit rotted.


Plum – Victoria Again, if I was starting from scratch I wouldn’t be growing Victoria, but I bought these trees four years ago when I was after yield. It cropped for the first time this year. There was a fair bit of brown rot, which I attacked vigorously but the 15 or so fruits that did come to term were yummy.

Score 7/10

Cherry – Summer Sun. I’d never grow a cordon cherry again. At most I get about ten cherries on this. They taste nice, but it’s not a good use of the space. The tree is so healthy though, I will keep it in the hope that one day it will start to fruit more vigorously. This year I got no cherries at all.


I have given each tree a good mulch with well-rotted manure, as an autumnal treat. Hopefully next year will be more successful.



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