Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: fruit trees

Pear Discovery

Yesterday, 13th October, Laura and Glenn harvested the pears. Despite having had a blight of European Pear Rust on the leaves, we had a very good result from the Discovery. The Red Williams and the Beurre Hardy however didn’t give us any fruit worth a mention.

European Pear Rust – On pears Bright orange spots on the upper leaf surface. As summer progresses brown, gall-like outgrowths develop on the corresponding lower leaf surface. Fruit may be affected, but this is much less common. This fungus attacks both pears and junipers. In fact it needs both plants in order to complete its life cycle. Another reason for the removal of the enormous fir tree from the side garden.


Conference Pears

I have completed harvesting the pears from the garden this morning. This tree had no fruit at all last year but this season has been great with lovely blossom in the spring and loads of fruit. I understand that these pears keep well but I shall be having a look at how I can use them in cooking as there are so many.

Cherry Trees


We have two cherry trees in the back garden. One cost over twenty pounds from Ken Muir and is called Sweetheart. The other cost three ninety nine from Lidl and is a variety called Stella. They have both blossomed beautifully this year and because we had next to no frost have fruited well too.  The Stella fruit seemed ready in early July and because it was attracting a lot of interest from the local Blackbirds I took off the fruit when it looked ripe. The fruit was very tasty but I now find that harvesting should have been late July. The Sweetheart tree fruit has looked red and ripe for a while but on doing a bit of investigating on the internet I see that the fruit ripens late August and is very dark. I have already taken some fruit off but the taste didn’t seem right. Now I know why. I hope that I shall remember this next year but who knows. Ken Muir has died this month aged 85. Our condolences to his friends and family.

Apple – Elstar Malus Domestica

Today I bought an apple tree from Aldi. It is an Elstar, an offspring of the Golden Delicious.  I bought this cultivar once before and it died. However the original cost £25.99 and this one only cost £3.99 so there is not so much to risk. Oh well I was just as disappointed when this tree died but it was a bit easier because of the low cost.

Elstar is a crunchy apple. The flesh is lemon-white. In most Golden Delicious offspring it is the other parent which provides the essential counter-balance to offset the sweet blandness of Golden Delicious. In the case of Elstar this is Ingrid Marie, a variety which originates from Denmark. Although not a widely-known apple, it lends a bit of sharpness to the mix – inherited from its own parent, Cox’s Orange Pippin. The result is Elstar, which is probably one of the best Golden Delicious offspring.

Dessert Plum Opal – Prunus Domestica

plum-opal.jpgOpal plums are a sweet, bite-sized dessert plum with a great colour range. From sunshine yellow to deep purple, often on one fruit. They have pale yellow flesh with a Greengage flavour. This is a really early cropping plum tree and in a good year you can look forward to the first fruit being ready at the end of July. Opal is a self pollinator

We bought this tree today as a companion for the Cox apple in the chicken run. Update – both of these trees turned out to be plum so my Cox’s Apple tree is still a dream.

Dessert Apple Cox’s Orange Pippin – Malus Domestica



We bought one of these trees today from Lidl for £3.99 and plan to plant it in the scratching area of the chicken run. There used to be a big old Sorbus in there but it has died completely and will have to be removed along with an old Bamboo. We shall have to protect the trunk until it is established. The hope is that as well as providing some shade for the girls they will enjoy the windfall too. We have a Granny Smith’s Apple in the side garden, close enough for pollination we hope.

The Cox’s Orange Pippin is England’s most famous apple variety, sweet with just the correct amount of acidity, it is packed with flavour.