The aspect of my work I enjoy most is the management of orchards and top fruit production. I don't work in large commercial/industrial production, although have been involved in this previously, I prefer small-scale, minimal intervention production methods - much easier when the target produce is cider than table fruit given the modern consumer is trained to shop with the eye and imperfection equals poor flavour or nutritional lack in this mindset.
I can advise on orchard planting and planning, choice of varieties for location, pest management regime and pruning.
A traditional farm orchard with stock guards
Commercial Cox production
Traditional Bramley standards now requiring restoration, but of great ecological benefit
Commercial Bramley production
Pre-planting stage of planned M9 Braeburn block
I am happy to top-work your existing trees over to new varieties as required or train you to do it yourself and operate a small-scale nursery of apple trees myself, with notice I can produce small numbers of trees to your specification of stock and variety.
I am also involved in a breeding and selection programme (perhaps unsurprisingly given my other work!) for apples mainly, but we are also considering quince and pear. This is nothing on the scale of the commercial trialling carried out by East Malling or Cornell, but we are keen to make a contribution to ensuring these important fruits have what it takes to remain resilient to climate change.
I am also keen to explore the possibilities offered by alternative orchard underplanting regimes as part of silvopastural systems, such as Comfrey, above.
If any of this sounds like your sort of thing, or you are interested in planting an orchard and would like advice, do get in touch.