Monday, 8 July 2013
I am still in London and won't return home until Tuesday. My stay here has given me the chance to have a look at some of the trees that are normally a couple of weeks ahead of us in the North East. There are two in particular I was keen to see: sweet chestnut and cherry. Both are late because of the late end to winter. I am used to the growing season in the South East of England being a couple of weeks ahead of us in the North East. I am used to the sweet chestnuts having gone through the blossom stage by now. This year the trees are still in blossom. I noticed however that honey bees were very keen on them. (So if you are thinking of planting bee friendly trees that are productive, plant sweet chestnut.)
The cherry crop is normally over by now in both the South East and the North East. June is the month to pick this fruit. Leave it too long and the wood pigeons have helped themselves to the whole lot. Not so this year. We are at the start of the second week in July and in London the fruit is still ripening. And we are two weeks behind back home. Still, this is better than last year. We got virtually no cherries then. The weather then was only partly to blame. The cherry trees had lost most of their leaves by July as some kind of fungus was infecting them. This year, despite the late arrival of the crop, it is a much better picture than last year.
Whilst walking around the local park I spotted elderflower and bramble flowers. The elder normally finishes flowering in June. Again, another later runner. In recent years, the brambles have been getting earlier. My impression is that though they are a bit later this year, they have not suffered as much as other fruit producing bushes and trees.