realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Tag Archives: Video

How to thin plums

In late May-early June, if the set of fruit on plum trees is strong, it is a good idea to start thinning out the plums. If the trees have too many plums, size will be disappointing. Use a narrow-tipped cutter to remove some plums so that the ones left are a couple of inches apart. Where there are two together, cut them down to one. When plums overcrop, the branches break, and the fruit is not as good.

Narration: Dan Neuteboom
Camera: John Paddy

Further information on the RealEnglishFruit website
https://realenglishfruit.co.uk/

Video: Ladybirds, great friends for fruit growers

A ladybird is the biggest friend the fruit grower can have. They inhabit fruit trees and eat the aphids. Unfortunately, this year – the video was filmed in May 2019 – there are far too many aphids when compared to the number of ladybirds, and so on their own the ladybirds can’t keep them under control. You can help by spraying the trees with a soapy liquid made with a washing-up liquid, at the concentration that you would use to do the washing-up. It won’t kill the ladybirds, nor the ants. But it will finish off the aphids.

Narration: Dan Neuteboom
Camera: John Paddy

Further information on the RealEnglishFruit website
https://realenglishfruit.co.uk/

Video: May – Mildew on fruit trees

In spring and early summer, mildew can develop on fruit trees very quickly, particularly in certain weather conditions. It’s a good idea to visit your trees every week, and when you do, be sure to bring a basket with you. Cut away mildew-affected shoots, and put then into the metal basket. From here, the shoots can disposed of, placing them into the non-recycling bin. The whitish appearance of mildew infection is due to the thousands of fungal spores on the leaves. Eliminating infected leaves and shoots helps control outbreaks of mildew.

Narration: Dan Neuteboom
Camera: John Paddy

Further information on the RealEnglishFruit website
https://realenglishfruit.co.uk/

Video: May – How to thin apples by hand

Apples are just about the last fruit to blossom. The first to blossom are apricot, nectarines and peaches, followed by plums, then cherry, and finally the apples. Considering apples, there are early and late varieties. At this time of year, late May, you will often find that the early apple varieties have set far too much fruit. For early varieties, late May is a good time for thinning fruit on apple trees.

How to thin apples by hand
Use a narrow-tipped cutter to remove some of the fruitlets so that they are better spaced. Leave the best-sized fruitlets. Cut just underneath the fruitlet, leaving the stalk. Always cut out the central fruitlet in a group, because this is the king fruit and it is misshapen. In this group, Dan reduces the initial 12 fruitlets to 5. There are still too many, but it is still early in the season, so it’s a good idea to thin the fruitlets down to this degree at the present time, late May. In July you can take another look at the tree and reduce the number of fruits – in a group of this type – down to 2 or 3.

Narration: Dan Neuteboom
Camera: John Paddy

Further information on the RealEnglishFruit website
https://realenglishfruit.co.uk/

Video: Grafting apple trees, results and maintenance

In this video, made in late May, we see a 10-year-old apple tree that Dan Neuteboom and William Seabrook grafted in an earlier video, in March. The grafts have taken very well, the branches are healthy with a good set of leaves. If the graft does not develop properly, this may be caused by a hole in the tree wax. If this happens, just fill in the cracks and holes with a proprietary flexible tree wax that you can buy in garden centres. So, if you graft over a tree, it’s a good idea to go back after a few days and inspect the graft, correcting any holes or cracks in the wax. If the graft is completely sealed, it is more likely to be successful.
Narration: Dan Neuteboom
Camera: John Paddy

Video: May. Tying down apple tree branches

Dan Neuteboom demonstrate how to tie down apple tree branches, a method of forming the tree’s structure and encouraging growth of new shoots along the branches. This is a one-year old tree, with branches growing diagonally upwards and rather bare. Simply tie a few lengths of string at the base of the stake, and then wind the string around the branch and hold it in place with a clothes peg. Stronger branches can be tied down a little lower. When you bend the branch, twist it slightly. This will prevent it from breaking. Trees don’t crop because of pruning, but in spite of pruning: tying apple trees in this way will help the tree to start cropping.. Dan also points out that it is important to have mulch on the soil around the tree. This keeps the soil moist so that the root system can develop sufficiently to feed the part of the tree above ground level.
Narration: Dan Neuteboom
Camera: John Paddy

Video: How to control aphids on apple trees

At this time of year (late May), you often see ants climbing up a fruit tree. They are there because they are looking after their herds of aphis. The aphids produce a sweet liquid that the ants collect and use as a foodstuff. So if you see ants going up your fruit tree, from the ground into the branches and then onto the leaves, you know that you have aphids. How can you get rid of the aphids on your apple tree? This depends. You may have enough ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewings to control the aphids naturally, and if the infection is not too bad, they will remove most of the aphids and the tree won’t suffer. However, if you find leaves completely folded up, there are too many aphids and it will be very difficult to do something about it. One way of controlling aphis attack is to spray the tree with a soapy liquid, with ordinary washing up liquid at the same concentration that you use to wash the dishes. However, this will not solve the situation when it has reached the stage at which the leaves are curled up. Another possibility is to use an organic spray called pyrethrum. This will be partially effective. The overall message is to make sure that the amount of aphis in your tree does not get too excessive, and take into consideration whether there is sufficient presence of predators to keep the aphis population under control.
Narration: Dan Neuteboom
Camera: John Paddy

Video. May: How to control wasps in the garden

We are not the only ones who like the fruit that we grow in our garden orchard. Birds, wasps and other things also like to enjoy the fruit. Wasps can be a real problem, particularly with plums and cherries. At garden centres they sell various types of trap, or you can use a simple home-made device. Just take a large jam jar, fill it half-full with a very sweet sugar solution in water, make a hole in the lid and place it near or in the fruit trees. The wasp will enjoy the sugar for the rest of its life. An easy solution of how to catch wasps in the garden.

Narration by Dan Neuteboom, camera John Paddy

Video. How to support fruit tree branches

In a previous video we saw a freshly-planted tree. This tree was tied out last year, and you can see the amount of regrowth that has taken place. The tree has set a lot of fruit, and so Dan has provided support by using strings tied to the top of the stakes and looped around the branches. It is a temporary arrangement that stabilizes the tree. Once the framework is fixed, and the branches hold their position naturally, at the end of the season it is a good idea to remove the strings to ensure that they don’t get enveloped by the growing branches. This tree gives a good idea of the shape that we need: drooping branches, strongly-developed framework branches, well furnished with new wood. With an apple tree it’s important to support branches to prevent breakage.

Narration by Dan Neuteboom, camera John Paddy

Video: An insect hotel and fruit tree pollination

Dan Neuteboom shows us an insect hotel. The problem with the pollination of early-flowering fruit trees, such as cherries, plums, greengages, apricots and peaches, is that often it is so cold, there are hardly any insects around. But when the sun does come out in those early months, it can quickly get very warm and the insects will come out. In this sort of insect hotel, which should be placed facing south, insects like hoverflies and lacewings can spend the winter. These are the insects that can help with pollination after just a few hours of sunshine. Dan shows us an open-centre greengage tree in which there is good air circulation. The basic requirements for good fruit set, in a location where there are other varieties all around, are there. The other important thing is that frost is a real danger with early-flowering fruit. The trees least at risk from spring frosts are apple trees. All the other trees flower earlier. There are various ways of avoiding the risk of frost and stopping the trees from getting hurt by frost. One technique is shown right here: the chickens keep the grass cropped right down, so that the sun can heat up the ground which can then radiate the heat back into the air at night, helping protect the trees from frost. Another useful technique is to use nets, ensuring that air circulation is not obstructed. Mulch also requires care. It is great for late-flowering fruits such as raspberries and apples, but if you put mulch around the trees early in the season, thinking particularly of frost-sensitive trees such as pears, peaches and apricots, you have to bear in mind that the mulch worsens the frost situation because it doesn’t allow the ground to absorb heat from the sun during the day. Lastly, the position of the trees should be considered when planting new trees. If you plant them in a valley where cold air can accumulate, this increases the risk of frost damage. In this case it can be useful to ensure that there is an opening in a hedge so that cold air can flow away.