It’s a funny thing planting bare-rooted fruit trees, it looks like you’ve just got a big stick and stuck it in the ground and it stays like that for some time. When we planted the three trees at the end of July I was terribly excited by the prospect of growing our own fruit – even though that is some time off yet. Vegetables are relatively easy, you plant the seed, after a short time it pops up and off it goes, within a few months you can actually eat something (given that is has been carried off by snails in the night, attacked by possums or succumbed to some unfavourable weather conditions). With trees it’s a waiting game, patience is required, giving a seemingly dormant thing love and attention all in the hope that in a year or two it might bare fruit. Have I mentioned that patience is not my strong suit?
It was a difficult wait to begin with, I would examine the trunks of the trees in the most minute detail looking for any signs of life, but for weeks nothing really happened. Then the plum tree started to show leaf buds, all of a sudden they were covering the branches, after a few days the leaves started to unfurl in greater and greater numbers. Now after four months it actually looks like a tree, full of life and plumy potential, though still very small.
Please ignore the weeds at the bottom of this picture, I really must get around to weeding this spot.
The two apple trees took much longer to get going and even then they seemed to put out one new leaf at a time then left me hanging before finally put out the next. The Granny Smith was particularly slow going and at one point looked like it wouldn’t make it, with the few leaves it had curling up and turning brown. The spiders had taken a special liking to this tree, but once I moved them on it seemed to pick up a little.
The real turning point came while I was away , probably because I wasn’t there to studying them every day, so when I did come back I really noticed the difference. Not only are they both now covered in leaves, but they have a significant section of new growth at the top of the central trunk. I can now start to imagine little apples forming on them in the new few years.
I am certainly finding the fruit tree growing thing a test of my patience, but at least there are now signs of life from the sticks I planted four months ago.