Another tree has succumbed – not one leaf left on it, and this year’s growth was none existent so I assume it died around the same time as the other two. We’ll replace it, a Merryweather variety, like for like, as it’s supposed to be well suited to our location, originating as it does in Nottinghamshire. I still have no idea what killed them off, but can only assume the late cold spell this winter got in to the pruning cuts.
I have also noticed cherry slugs on some of the cherry tree leaves – the larvae of a sawfly specific to plums and cherries. We have had leaves with holes in this year, so the chickens will be moved to those trees soon to scratch around the bases of the trees, after I’ve dug the ground over, to gobble up the over-wintering larvae. Other than that, it falls to us to squish any of the slugs we find on the leaves, unless we resort to chemicals.