The Fairfield Orchards were planted many years ago to provide apples for cooking with, eating, and to make cider for the residents and staff of Fairfield Hospital. After the hospital’s closure the orchards sadly fell into decline – until the new Fairfield residents took matters into their own hands and began taking care of the trees once again.
One of the initial tasks was to number and identify all the trees. This was done with the help of Bob Lever, an arborist with a great deal of experience and knowledge of veteran fruit trees. He identified all the trees except one: number 0175 in the East Orchard had him foxed.
Not to be defeated, Bob suggested that the Friends of the Fairfield Orchards sent samples to be DNA tested, which they duly did. There was a long wait, but the results are now back and the last tree has been identified as a Gibbons Russet.