Volunteers from Greener Leith and The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh braved a horribly cold, wild and windy day last week to carry out essential pruning on the fruit trees in the Children’s Orchards on Leith Links. I say orchards because there are now two, smaller orchards because the original one was bisected by the new access path for pedestrians and cyclists to Portobello. This caused a bit of upheaval, but the trees that were in the way were moved and don’t seem to have suffered in any way.
During the course of day one hundred apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees were pruned under the watchful eye of Ben Dell from the Botanics. Pruning in the early stages of a trees life is essential to ensure a good framework of branches that will bare a heavy crop of fruit for years to come. This essential pruning makes sure that the fruit trees will be there for the next 90 years, i.e. 2013, right into the next century. The adage goes that a fruit trees needs 30 years to grow to perfection, then it will fruit for 30 years and then slowly slide into a decline in its last 30 years. Let’sr’ hope that this year’s crop will be worth writing about…
The Greener Leith volunteers were assisted by trained volunteers from The Botanic Gardens’ Edible Gardening Project, which helps people to grow their own vegetables and fruit by offering advice on how to get started. As always, we are very grateful for their support.
As you can see from the photos, it was too cold to hang around for too long and finish off the other jobs that still need doing. We’re hoping to do that when the weather improves a little.