The trees that we've planted are all a year old, known in the trade as maidens. The reason for this is twofold: firstly because apple trees are notoriously difficult to transplant as they age; and secondly because we need to start pruning them--using the pyramidal technique expounded by Thomas Rivers in his 1866 book The Miniature Fruit Garden--while they are still very young for the best results. Over the next few years, just as in George Bowes' time, these maidens will mature to form a grand avenue once more.
Many thanks to all the families who came and planted trees with us--it was lovely to meet so many young gardeners in the making! We really hope you enjoyed the experience and that you'll come back often to check up on the progress of your trees. Thanks also to all the volunteers, especially Val, Sharron and Angela, who helped to make this such a great day.