So many apples are at their best right now, so it is definitely peak time of year for cider making.  Our small russett tree cropped a good plastic bagful.  Remember that the next time you pop into a garden centre, you will probably want to stock up on greasebands.  We had a colony of ants who bypassed my band by climbing an adjacent fence. They stopped the aphids from being eaten and so the tree suffered. My mistake.

Our crab apple was infested with maggots or larvae of something or other, so next year the crab is also getting the greaseband treatment.

I have only ever seen boltac brand greasebands round here and they are pretty fiddly to attach correctly. Does anyone have any alternative suggestions?

Also, now that you are cropping it is probably a good time to start planning your wassailing party. At midwinter you and a bunch of mates should be wandering through the apple trees, making lots of noise and drinking lots of cider in an attempt to (a) frighten off the bad spirits or (b) enjoy any excuse for a piss up.  (Delete a or b as appropriate).