have been some scare stories in the media that the Somerset
floods will seriously impair this year’s cider production:
but they are no more than that - scare stories.
apple orchards in the traditional growing areas of Somerset, Hereford
and Worcestershire were planted on south-facing hills or steeply
slopping ground because it was difficult to use this ground for
other agricultural purposes.
the work on the orchards was historically carried out by hand and
because they drain naturally they have survived to this day.
– or even prolonged water-logging – will kill the fibrous
roots (which are incidentally designed to collect water) of fruit
trees in a couple of weeks.
new cider orchards of bush varieties are designed for disease resistance
and harvesting by machine but the temptation to plant on flat floodplains
should be resisted at all costs.