August 2016 Part 1.
The Name’s James, James Grieve.
Inspired by the many posts across the blogosphere, I’ve decided to take the plunge into the monthly #TreeFollowing meme hosted by Squirrelbasket
So let me introduce you to my Tree of Choice to follow:
James Grieve is quite an old variety of Apple, it was raised in Scotland sometime before 1893.
Now James here is a culinary (Eating Apple) & a Dessert (Cooking Apple) depending on how long the fruits are left on the plant.
James is in pollination group 3, and he is suitable for northern, cooler areas of the UK. and is in hardiness zone H6.
James’s season of use is from September to October.
That’s what is supposed to happen, but no one told my James…..
My James was purchased just over 2 years ago, late 2014, by mail order from a well-known Seed & Plant Catalogue because he was on offer, he arrived late that September and was planted in an area of my lawn with lots of extra compost, and a decent mulch, and left to get on with it.
He settled in nicely, and gave out gorgeous blossom every Spring since then, he is currently about 6 foot tall now.
The Bees have been happy and so have I.
However, one thing James is not very good at, until this year, is giving out any actual Apples.
The Story so far:
James has flowered well for the 3 Springs he’s been with me, in the First year he produced two fruitlets….. Which promptly fell off.
In the Second year James managed about 5 fruitlets, a few fell off early in the growing season, but at least 2 began to swell an resemble actual Apples….. until I witnessed a baby Squirrel make off with the forming fruits and bury them in the veg patch.
So, time for drastic action…
Earlier this year, 2016, James Grieve was given a stiff talking to, given a yellow card for poor performance, and threatened with chopping down, or else.
And so far it appears to have paid off…
James put on an excellent show of blossom, followed by plenty of leaves, and at least 15 fruits originally set.
However now in August, only 8 fruits remain, and with the recent hot weather, and sudden winds, some fruit went and threw themselves to the floor.
Worryingly a few remaining fruits look like they have been invaded by beastly creatures, and these infected fruits are the ones dropping off the tree.
So this morning there were 3 more fruits on the floor, I’ve warned James that it needs to try to hold onto the last 8 fruits or else I will carry out my threat.
It also appears that James has other leaf eating beasties in residence. Some research required I think.
I must remember not to count my apples before the Autumn.