Histon & Impington Community Orchard Project

Impington Village College orchard

Restorative Pruning Workshop

As some of you may already know, there is a small orchard in the grounds of our village college. Slightly neglected over recent times, we estimate that the orchard was originally planted some time in the 1960s.

Comprising mostly Lord Lambourne apples, the orchard was clearly very well maintained during the early years. Bob Lever, an orchard expert from EEAOP who led a restorative pruning workshop at the orchard, pointed out that the formative pruning of the trees had been very well done. The orchard also contains a quince and a plum.

Blossom wilt

During Spring 2012 we noticed that the apple trees appeared to be suffering from some kind of infection. Following consultation with EEAOP and others, it was concluded that this was blossom wilt (sadly quite common given the weather this year). Over the course of a couple of weekends HICOP pruned the trees back to remove as much of the infection as possible. This proved successful, and the trees returned to health, albeit with a much reduced crop. This was partly due to the poor weather in 2012.

In 2013, we continued the restorative pruning, and whilst blossom wilt continues to be a problem, the trees are generally healthy and produced a good crop of apples.