By Ian Dipple Friday 13 September 2013 Updated: 13/09 10:39
REDDITCH’S iconic apple tree is making a comeback.
Several years ago branches cut from a Doddin apple tree in a borough garden were used to grow new trees at Walcot Nursery near Pershore to try and revive the fruit’s flagging fortunes.
It was hardly known outside of Redditch and was close to vanishing. But thanks to the efforts of enthusiasts at Headless Cross Community Orchard and Where Next Nurseries on Easemore Road there are now more than 200 trees in existence.
Trees have been planted at Batchley First School, nearby St David’s House and in 2010 pupils presented one to HRH the Countess of Wessex. They have also been put in at two Redditch based community orchards and Forge Mill Needle Museum.
Where Next is responsible for selling the trees and has donated £150 from sales to support the work of Headless Cross Community Orchard.
Nick Houghton, from Where Next, said: “Fruit trees have never been a popular purchase for our customers. So when the first dozen Doddins were delivered last year we thought, how on earth are we going to sell these? A year later, with customers already reserving trees for this winter, we just hope there’s enough Doddins to please everyone. It’s great local gardeners have taken this diminutive fruit to heart.”
Pip Taylor, orchard volunteer and founder of the Doddin Preservation Society established in 2007, added: “The Doddin is a great icon for our town, there are lots of fond memories of it. The tree bears the small apples around August, much earlier than most other varieties, and they thrive on heavy clay soils. So you can see why Redditch folk admired the Doddin. They must have been a real delight during the war, when sugar was in short supply. It’s great to be able to celebrate their return.”
Doddin trees will be available from Where Next from late November and are suitable for planting in any size of garden.
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