Growing Tree Fruit
Speaker: Peter Barwick
Date: 26th January
Peter Barwick has worked in the Horticultural Industry for many years, and was a commercial fruit grower for over 40 years, growing apples, pears, plums and soft fruit. He recently retired after 20 years as director for the orchard and nursery departments at Blackmoor Estate ltd.
Peter’s talk was most interesting and informative, with a great deal of practical advice which included the care of espaliers and cordons as well as standard trees. He took us through the A-Z of growing tree fruit, starting from the need to prepare the ground and weed it well in advance of planting.
He gave us a useful tip for getting rid of pernicious weeds. Mix very strong weed killer with wall paper paste and paint it on the weeds. Planting distances were covered for apple, pear, plum and cherry trees and pruning and spaying regimes. He advised us not to prune too far back and to leave plenty of fruiting buds. Branches should be trained horizontally rather than allowing them to grow vertical, which will make the tree more fruitful.
Spraying should be done when leaves first appear then every 10 weeks afterwards until first blossom. As well as his slides, Peter brought along some demonstration branches to illustrate his pruning technique. He showed us one slide of what is now an historic cherry orchard as there are now no cherry orchards in Britain.
Peter answered our questions at the end of his most informative talk and we all came away feeling a lot more confident in our approach to growing tree fruit.