A few weeks ago I decided I needed to do some work in the copse. Rabbit runs etc make this a very difficult area to work, but I did need to clear some of undergrowth, which was totally out of control. Whilst working I spied this tree trunk and realised I had never noticed it before. Why, I don't know, I just hadn't. I looked up at the entangled canopy and could not see the boughs of this very large tree.Now I was intrigued......first thing to do was get my camera.
Gosh, it's huge, how on earth did I not notice it. To my amazement there in all it's glory was a medlar tree. Medlar's were very popular during the Medieval period. The fruit is picked around November. It is left to soften before becoming edible. The softening is called 'bletting'. The flesh is as soft as a baked apple. The flavour is refreshing, like an old fashioned apple sauce with cinnamon. The fruit may have been cultivated as far back as thirty centuries ago.
During the last few weeks I have been in touch with several tree specialists and the Woodland Trust and they all seem to be of the same opinion, this is an extremely old tree.
Let me leave you with the last paragraph from one of the letters from the Woodland Trust.
Medlars first started being grown in Britain in 995, so it's quite possible that your tree was planted in the garden for the property (medieval period), and it has later become incorporated into the copse.
I feel so honoured to have this ancient tree in the garden.....but I do have one problem how on earth can I reach the fruit to pick it?