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Brimstage Orchard: the Orchard Book, Ch. 10


Redsleeves- A8, A9, B7, C7, F8, H8 plus D7 (Red Windsor?)

Redsleeves is a recent variety, described by Orange Pippin, the fruit tree suppliers, as "bred at East Malling in the 1960's as a red-coloured sibling of Greensleeves. Like Greensleeves it was aimed at the small grower and gardener, and is therefore a good choice as a first apple tree.

It was also intended to be disease-resistant and this is reflected in the modern clean-looking appearance of the apples.

Redsleeves is essentially a sweet apple with a mild undemanding flavour" Interestingly all 5 of the trees bought when the orchard was planted have survived. D7 was marked on the plan in 2011 as "same as C8" which in turn was marked as "apple, dead." As only 5 redsleeves were bought, D7, which has come back into growth and with a few red apples on it, may well be one of the missing 6 red windsors.

The Redsleeves in the orchard at Brimstage were on M 26 rootstocks, more suited for training as bushes, espaliers or cordons. They cope with some competition from grass and weeds, but make weak roots and need permanent staking. All the redsleeves apart from A9 are stunted and feeble, this is partly as a result of rootstock choice, of location (?shallow soil depth?) of incorrect treatment in the 5 years after planting and extensive mover /strimmer damage causing lesions in the bark and wood of the trunks and considerable cankering. A8, B7 and C7 were heavily pruned in 2016 & 2017 to deal with Fireblight and cankering, which has led to some improvements in overall growth. In September 2018 H8 was badly affected by Fireblight, so that 80% of growth was removed. If the Fireblight has been eliminated, H8 will be reduced to a 3 foot stump in March 2019 for cleft grafting with a more suitable variety and treated as an espalier. A8, B7, C7 & F8 will be removed and replaced after 2 years' gap with a Cheshire variety on more suitable stocks.

we have used some of the stocks for practicing cleft, slip or t-cut grafting, and in 2018 succesfully grafted  Court Pendu Plat onto A8 and H8 and later in the year will remove all the remaining "redsleeves " branches from those trees

A8 A9, B7, C7, F8, H8- Redsleeves

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