1 Fruit trees TIM­ING: au­tumn (fruit)

NZ Lifestyle Block - - The good life -

My first choice of a fod­der tree for cows would be a pear tree, and then some ap­ples. Pears grow quite large, mak­ing a nice shade tree. If you’re choos­ing ap­ple va­ri­eties, get ones grown on large and hardy North­ern Spy or sim­i­lar root­stock. • both drop fruit in au­tumn which my cows adore – for them it is mana from heaven – and I can gather some fruit for my­self; • birds can eat the fruit (in­stead of what is in my or­chard!); • they drop their leaves in win­ter, so you don’t end up with muddy ar­eas around them, mak­ing them good op­tions on north­ern sides of gates or races; • they also make great fire­wood (or smok­ing wood).

On the down­side, the over-ripe fruit can at­tract wasps and pos­sums and they may get in­fected with codling moth (al­thought there are now bi­o­log­i­cal sprays to con­trol the lar­vae, see next month’s col­umn for more).

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