Saturday 17 September 2016

Tidying the Ivy

At the side of the orchard nearest the road there is a steep embankment. It is wooded with a mix of trees, though mostly Hawthorn and Ash. It covers roughtly one third of an acre. The trees have been un-managed by previous owners of the land and are effectively growing wild. We're progressively managing them into a coppice wood, but deliberately progressing slowly to avoid upsetting the balance of the embankment and causing an earth collapse. However I've noticed some of the trees have too much ivy growing on their trunks.

I took some time today to attack the ivy by cutting the ivy creepers at the base of the trees. A sign of how poorly the trees have been managed is that one of the ivy "creepers" I cut was 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. It had grown up the side of a large Hawthorn tree. At first I ignored it thinking it was part of the Hawthorn bush/tree but I noticed it didn't look right. It must have taken many years to have grown to that thickness! 

I also took the opportunity to harvest the apples from our Cobra apple tree. They taste delicious and are a dual purpose fruit suitable for both cooking and as a desert apple. The Cobra apple arises from a cross of the Cox Apple and the Bramley Apple.

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