Pears, Apples and other Fruit Trees

There are a couple of trees producing what I think are tiny pears (the fruit are small and hard and similar to quince, but the buds are more like pear buds. They could be either, because pear trees occasionally produce quince if they've been grafted onto quince rootstock).

You'll find one just opposite Peter's Yard on Middle Meadow Walk, and another looking on to Warrender Park Terrace.

Even at their height in autumn, the pear fruit are pretty hard to spot at a distance: you have to wander right over and search among the leaves before you realise that the trees are heavy with them.

The pear blossom comes early in the spring

Here's a goldfinch munching something out of one of the budding flowers, late in March. I'm not sure whether this is a petal or if there was an insect inside (goldfinches mostly eat seeds but will go for insects during the breeding season).

Unfurling takes a while: here's the first sign of leaves and individual pink buds, in mid-April

By the end of the month, though, they're in fine bloom

I think the blossom on the dark little trees on Bruntsfield Links at the foot of Whitehouse Loan may be purple-leaved crab apples:

When the cherry avenues are in full flower, some other fruit trees on Boys Brigade Walk have just started to unfurl their dark buds. Boys Brigade Walk is lovely at this time of year: white and pink cherries alternate with deeper pink crab apples and the icy green of early whitebeam leaves. (The park's one Snowy Mespil is hiding on that path, too.)

A strange row of apple trees lines the Croquet Club along Melville Drive, growing straight out of the hedge.

I think these must be grown on cherry rootstock: the bark and the classic slightly acrid smell of cherry seems very familiar to me. 

But it definitely produces tiny apples. They're not tasty.

In future years, there'll be eating apples in the orchard newly planted by Greening Our Street in front of the University Library. There's a variety of apples, and some of the new trees are fruiting already