Heritage Fruit Conservation
Following a Welsh Perry & Cider Society project to find heritage fruit trees in Wales we have had two species of perry pear confirmed as genetically unique to our farm.
One of these trees is an heirloom, rather than graft, meaning it grew from seed. This tree has been confirmed as the second girthiest pear tree in Britain!
Grafts were taken from these trees and we have now planted 25 saplings across the farm. More saplings have been sent to university museum orchards across Wales.
We were also given the opportunity to name the species.
The big tree we have named St. Gwytherin - The name of our village is Llanvetherine, meaning the church place of Gwytherin; Gwytherin was a 6th century saint who is buried a mere 900m from the tree in the village church.
We have installed a new fence to protect the tree as it has suffered in recent years, before our arrival, from horses in the field who had compacted the ground at its base and rubbed bark off its trunk. Compaction reduces the trees ability to breathe properly, damage to the trunk puts it at risk of disease. With livestock in the field we were not able to produce a perry that we could allow the public to drink.
The other species we have named Water Cracking. Many thanks to James Greenhill for the suggestion.
Both trees make a cracking perry which we brew using the natural yeasts that exist on the pears. The pear trees below are the ones with the white blossom.