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Working sessions at Jubilee Green Orchard 2019
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Sunday 25th August
Nine volunteers enthusiastically defied the heat this morning to get some late summer maintenance tasks completed. Jobs were:
Scything the grass in the grass bank, tackling the area to the south of the bank, in a line with the northern boundary of the grid of shrubs. We followed the guidance of the
mowing regime, as drawn up by Nick Gray (see sidebar for a link to this information). All the cut grass was stashed at the top of the copse, underneath the ash tree.
Removal of a ragwort from the grass bank.
Cutting grass around recently planted silver birch, in the grid of shrubs.
Removal of water shoots from some apple trees.
Thinning some apples on the trees.
Removing suckers from medlar.
Collecting up windfalls.
Seed heads of several docks removed.
Several seed heads of corky-fruited water dropwort were spotted, and attempts to scatter the seed were made!

Thanks to Paul Arthur for this report
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Sunday 28th April
The sun shone and it was glorious weather for carrying out some of the necessary maintenance tasks ahead of the growing season. We had just six volunteers come along to help. Achievements included:
Scything and shearing and raking up of grass around the fruit trees;
Cut grass and removed from the four shrubs in the copse in the southeast corner;
Cut the grass in small circles around all of the shrubs in the grid to the south of the site;
Cut some of the grass from around a small number of shrubs in the copse underneath the ash tree;
Cut the grass from around the oak tree on the plateau area to the north of the site;
The Town Council had mown most of the grass at the site last Wednesday, so we raked up the cuttings from the meadow area at the north end of the site to help reduce the soil fertility, which is necessary for the wild flowers to flourish
There were quite a few lady’s smock flowers in the unmown areas, and we saw a number of orange tip butterflies, who use this as a larval food plant.
The flowers on the crab apple were fantastic and a glory to behold!
Thanks to Paul Arthur for this report and David Hawkins for the photos
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27th January
All 7 of the apple trees at Jubilee Green, plus the medlar, needed winter pruning.  We had 5 of the more experienced tree team members present, plus 2 comparative novices.   We enjoyed a sunny morning and fortunately were sheltered from the strong northwesterly wind by Allington Hill, which rises behind the site.
  
Our aim this year in addition to overall winter pruning was to reduce the height of the Rosemary Russet, Warrior and Golden Ball.  We are unable to bring our orchard ladder to this site, so need to keep the trees to a height that’s manageable with short steps and the long-arm pruner.  This means removing branches that are soaring skywards, instead favouring those that form a lower, wider canopy.  The trees on the site are of varying sizes, Melcombe Russet, Allington Pippin and Pomeroy of Somerset being quite small still, so we were able to finish the pruning of all 8 in about 2.5 hours. 
Thanks to Christine Preston for this report
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