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2014: A Fruitful Year for Fruit Trees

After a long wet winter, most areas in the UK have enjoyed a long warm growing season with plenty of sunshine, albeit between the showers! It so happens that these are perfect conditions for fruit trees. At blossom time the weather was generally warm and dry, which has meant a good fruit set in spring. Now, the fruit is ripening, and gardeners can begin to harvest the top fruit.

However, it is not as simple as just picking the fruit off the trees. There is a right way to go about collecting your fruit, and different fruits must be picked at different times. Plums must be picked as soon as they are ready (and before the wasps get to them) when they are soft to the touch. Apples should be sweet and crunchy and pears must be firm but sweet before they are picked. Windfall from apple trees is often a good indicator of readiness.

In order to know whether it is the right time to start picking, it is a good idea to take a sample or two first so you know when to start the harvest. If you pick too early, the fruit will not have properly developed and therefore will not be as tasty as possible, but if you pick the fruit too late, it will not keep as well.

Fruit currently being harvested includes plums, damsons and gages, all of which can be cooked in crumbles and tarts or made into jams. They can even be frozen until winter to save yourself a taste of summer. Figs are also ready to harvest, while medlars and quinces are not far away.

Harvest times vary from year to year depending on the locality, but this year has seen a trend of top fruit ripening early. In order to make the most from your fruit trees, you must pick the fruit as it ripens. If top fruit is ripening early, picking the fruit from the top first is best. It is also important to pick fruit on a dry day, as moist conditions can cause fruit to spoil faster.

Plum Victoria, Ripe Fruit Victoria Plums ripe and ready to pick!
Cambridge Gage, Ripe Fruit, Ripe Gage Cambridge Gages ripening

For any more tips on harvesting fruit trees, or for any general inquiries, please get in touch with us. The knowledgeable English Woodlands team are available Monday-Friday on 01485 862992, or you can leave an inquiry on our contact page and our team will gladly get back to you. 

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