Way back in 2012 the newly formed Blyth Woods group, together with the Commons Group and children from Wenhaston School, helped Suffolk Wildlife Trust to plant a Community Orchard/Nuttery of 29 trees at Merton Wood. The trees have not flourished as we had hoped they would and so we invited Paul Read of the Suffolk Traditional Orchards Group, to visit and give some advice on ways forward with the orchard. It seems that the main problem is probably that the trees originally planted did not have a suitably vigorous rootstock to grow well in grassland. Last Saturday we started to prepare for interplanting the existing trees with some that have a rootstock that should create stronger growth. Eight trees should be arriving soon from a specialist nursery and so on Saturday we cleared the grass from small patches of ground and pre-dug the planting holes to give these new trees a good start.
The existing trees have not been abandoned. The grass around their trunks has been cleared for a one metre circle and they have been given a good straw mulch. We hope that this will encourage them to produce some fruit while the new trees are growing.