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Oak among the Fruit Trees

 
David Livingston
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Now I have just taken over a much neglected set of espelliers . 5 rows of pears and apples . So for the First pass through I am cutting out the dead branches, the weed trees , in this place usually up to three inchwide walnut trees getting rid of ivy and generally giving them a good tidy . I know its going to take some time but hey they are about 50 of the little darlings so I am quite happy . However there is one tree that stands out . Its a Oak , as in common european its obviously been planted in a row , its about a foot across the trunk . I think its about the same age as the pear trees surrounding it .
I think there are two possibilities
1) it was planted deliberatly if so why ? Should I leave it ? Pollard ? Chop it down ?
2) its a weed as the previous folks decided to keep it . ..... er but yet again why ?

David

 
John Elliott
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Oaks are great stores of mycorrhizal fungi. Have you noticed that it has more mushrooms under it after a heavy rain than any of the fruit trees in the orchard? If you leave it there, it will continue to host those valuable fungi and be a source for the other trees. If you are really lucky, it may have truffles living down in its roots.

If it is too big, I would say pollard it to keep it at a manageable size.
 
Eric Thompson
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Oaks are pretty great, and nurseries don't sell them that size

Usually in cases like this, I would not remove it unless I absolutely needed the space immediately for something else.

There may be a compromise position to trim it some and maybe even add a vine (Grape, kiwi, hops..)
 
David Livingston
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Well the trees is literally in the middle of a wall of pears. I did think about fungus though as I remember someone years ago selling trees already infected with truffles could this be one of these trees? I always thought the idea a bit odd- you buy an oak at two years old then wait until its twenty before collecting the fungus- cost 40+€ as opposed to cost for normal tree 2 cents. You sell lots of trees for ten years And run for it was my thought.
David
 
David Goodman
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Very strange. Considering the relative size of pears vs. oaks, it's surprising to have one in the row.

Perhaps it could also be an improved variety with sweet acorns. They do exist, as J. Russell Smith discusses in Tree Crops.
 
David Livingston
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Dave
Thats what really bugs me as this is deliberate . We also have some very mature oaks on the property so its not like we are short of acorns for pigs . ( anyone who wants some they are a euro a kilo pick your own bring your own bag )
I do like the idea of sweet oaks any idea of where I could get some of those.

David
 
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