The wintry feel of April

After six months of rain over the winter, followed by a few days of blissful warm sunshine, we’ve returned to icy blasts of north wind and drought conditions. All the trees in the orchard are alive, except for the old (probably Victoria) plum which had to be removed last year because it had silverleaf fungus right down into the roots.

Last year, most of the trees lost their fruit due to May frosts. Will the current frosts be early enough that the trees won’t mind? Only the plum and damsons are really in flower yet.

Everything is pretty shaggy, or as we like to call it, “nature friendly” ahem
Left to right; Louise Bonne of Jersey Pear, Wyken Pippin apple, and Uvedale’s St Germain pear all getting ready to flower
The Hambledon Deux Ans apple tree is still tiny after having been munched by cows in 2018. But it’s now taller than its protective frame, at last, and fixing to flower.
In the frames, the Fairleigh damson foreground, preparing to flower properly for the first time, and the Portugal quince, coming into leaf but not flowering yet.
The old apple tree, which we’ve been pruning each year since the wall of leilandii was taken down and it’s now almost a proper fruit tree! And to the right, the new quince again.
In the protective fence, the native black polar tree is way taller than me now.
In the protective frames, left to right, Shropshire Prune damson, Rivers Early Prolific plum, Nottingham medlar and finally the cherry tree from Morrisons, planted by the previous owners. The damson and plum are starting to flower; the medlar is coming into leaf.