Apologies to everyone - I spelt the name wrong. It is a Wotton Costard - not Wootton as on the Isle of Wight or in the New Forest. Anyway now checked and sorted and properly researched. www.bernwodeplants.co.uk have a full description and history for this apple. It was found in an ancient orchard on the nearby Wotton estate, is an excellent cooker which holds its shape and can be a dessert apple when mature
DNA Testing for Apple identification
Cost £25.00 + VAT per sample
What will you get? you will be notified of any matching fingerprint in the National Fruit collection (2,100 apples and 550 pears) If your sample is unique i.e. a new variety you still get the fingerprint data and can participate in discussions for naming the apple.
How long does it take? results will be circulated by the end of November 2017
I will put the form on this website as a menu item as soon as I have worked out how to do it, I can administer this website on a day to day basis but not sure of my capabilities here and might need to ask for assistance! In the meantime go directly to www.fruitid.com. This site is very interesting and informative with an exhaustive amount of information - well worth a look.
I am really happy about this development as there are so many ident. queries I can't answer. I know the apples I know, particularly if I have drawn and recorded them, but there are 3000 cultivated varieties here in the UK, not to mention worldwide, and this does not include seedlings, so to be able to direct people to somewhere they will be able to put their ident. query is very useful.
Another subject - a couple of years ago I asked on the website if anyone had an explanation for our mistletoe which appeared to be cloning itself around the apple trees in our garden. Definitely all male and no berries, so how did it reproduce? No really satisfactory explanation emerged except that there must be another tree with a female mistletoe somewhere in the neighbourhood. I have looked and asked and cannot find another apple tree with mistletoe anywhere near. As we are still mystified I wrote to the RHS (inspired by the mistletoe picture on the letters page this month) and will let you know the answer when I have it.
Well. we are still eating apples but it has definitely not been a bumper year, the Bramleys have now developed Bitter pit but Crawley Beauty is keeping us in cooking apples, we are still eating the last of the Jonagold and the Idared which is rapidly losing it's flavour.
Dave went to Yarmouth last week to look at and prune the trees at Yarmouth Community Orchard, the trees are looking good although a couple have had to be replaced. There was a little vandalism with the tops being broken out of some of the trees but most are flourishing. Home pruning has not started yet.
Jill Cowley met Dave at Yarmouth and gave him a couple of apples from her home orchard for me to look at, they won't win any prizes in a beauty competition but here is one of them, a Wootton Costard, pictured below, the other was a Leathercoat Russet which looks just like a squashed ball of leather. I haven't tried the taste test! I always like to see apples I have not met before so Thank you Jill.
Thank you also to everyone for their emails over the winter, I have answered them all, in most cases I hope usefully. Some are simple and quick but I see from my list that one query took 20 emails between myself and the gentleman who sent it to sort out the query about his orchard, I think it was a satisfactory conclusion in the end. We like a challenge and when I am not sure of the answer I can ask Dave which sometimes leads to a good 'discussion' and all the reference books off the shelf. It keeps us busy so please keep the emails coming.
I read an interesting article about 'chill hours' as part of the yearly cycle in fruit production. A 'chill hour' is when the temperature is between 1 and 10 degrees C - sub zero temperatures don't count. Fruit trees grown in the UK need about 984 hours or 41 days during the winter when the temperature is below 10 degrees C. If temperatures don't fall trees fail to go into proper dormancy - this causes problems with fruit production, pests and diseases. So another reason for a poor apple year?
Visit www.ptes.org/planner for a useful planner for the work to be done in an orchard over the year.