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Help identifying fruit trees (and their problems!)


First post here!

I've recently bought a property that has a small orchard of ten or so trees that are quite well established, but i'm not 100% sure what they are!

I suspect apples (no idea of variety but something I could make cider out of would be amazing) and I think, Damson trees.

They are however in a sad state of affairs, the leaves are getting eaten alive, and i'm not sure how to tackle it. The trees are too big for any sort of manual pest removal, so i was going to look at a pesticide such as Decis Protech as that can be used on apple trees, and tackles problems such as caterpillars etc. Has anyone any experience of this? Does anyone have a better guess than me at what these trees are (and their problems!)

Is that mossy bark type texture 'normal'?

Thanks in advance,



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,550
    edited 11 May

    A lot of photos there. I won’t go into what species of trees except to say that the first photo is of some kind of plum or damson.

    My main concern is that you feel the need to zap the creators of the holes.  Stop a moment and consider this.  

    Firstly, the trees are large and in good condition. They can stand to lose a few bits of leaf.  They must have done the same thing since they were saplings and they lived to tell the tale.

    Secondly, ask yourself what might be causing the holes in the leaves. Caterpillars? Beetle maggots? Apart from eating holes in leaves, what role do these creatures play in your garden? They provide food for birds like blue tits and all the other little feathery friends that make the dawn chorus such a delight. No caterpillars, no dawn chorus.

    So if you want to be a friend to your garden, let the birds deal with the hole makers.

    And the furry stuff on the branches? It’s lichen. A sure sign that your air is unpolluted. Another reason to put the spray back in the shed. It does no damage to the trees, merely uses them as a place to live.

    The little black fly in photo two is entirely innocent. His maggot grew up in your compost heap. He’s just sunbathing. Doesn’t want to get caught up in any insect killer. He’s a goody.

    Happy gardening.🙂

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,710
    The plums/damsons could be having their young leaves eaten by pigeons...they do that in our orchard.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,319
    Mostly plum or damson, some Apple trees.  I  agreed with prev posts. If you want to reduce the size you could try a program of renovation pruning. Prune in summer to reduce growth. Take no more than 1/3 at a time or you will just stimulate more growth. You will lose some fruit but that's the price for getting them in control. 
    AB Still learning

  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,511
    I can only see one real issue there and that's on picture 4, there is a mummified plum, those should all be removed from the tree and any that are dropped should also be removed from underneath every autumn.
    I think picture 5 and the last picture are both pears.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,501
    As has been said … no real problems other than the need for a little renovation pruning … but make sure you get an orchard-man or woman who knows what they’re doing … it’s a specialism … ordinary ‘pruning’ will result in a thicket of ‘water shoots’ and ugly bushy trees which bear little fruit. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 1,468
    You could always begin a regime of putting grease bands around the trunk of each tree in the autumn and hang feromone traps from the branches during the Spring/summer.  
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