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Planting fruit trees, can I do it now?

(11 Posts)
vintagetat Tue 11-Aug-15 07:50:35

I am looking for a bit of advice. We have just bought a house we are planning on staying in so I would like to plant some fruit trees. When should I be doing this? Can I put them in now or should I wait until Autumn?
I am thinking I'd like to grow apples and plums.
Thanks all smile

KumiOri Tue 11-Aug-15 07:55:37

if they are in pots they can be planted any time.
bare root plants (usually cheaper) are planted usually from mid october-spring.

visit a good nursery/garden centre and have a look what you want.

shovetheholly Tue 11-Aug-15 08:00:41

I would wait til autumn. If you plant them now, you'll need to water them every day through any hot spell - and we have weeks and weeks of summer left (she says, optimistically). They will really struggle in the heat after transplant and there's no real benefit in terms of extra growth in these few weeks. A period in the autumn when it's neither too cold nor too hot, and when the soil is still warm but damp is ideal.

Aldi do bare root trees for under £3 in the late autumn/early spring. They are good varieties, so well worth waiting for. You can put in a whole orchard for the same prices as a couple of trees from the garden centre grin.

A whole orchard. I'm not jealous at all! envy

vintagetat Tue 11-Aug-15 08:42:39

Wow, £3 each is a bargain!!! Thanks everyone! Also, another I need to buy 2 for pollenation purposes?

shovetheholly Tue 11-Aug-15 09:07:12

Yes, it's worth buying two different apple trees. (It depends on the variety a bit - some actually need THREE trees to get pollinated! They are sterile, and you need two different other varieties to get them going). Though there may well be other apple trees in the area (this is how mine gets pollinated), if you have space, getting different trees is better. Plus you'll get wonderful, different apples to try.

There are basically different flowering groups, and it's worth purchasing trees that are in the same or adjacent groups. They will be in flower at roughly the same time and you'll get a better crop.

More info here:

It's also worth doing a bit of research because some apples are more suited to wet, cold conditions, while others like sunnier climes. One apple I'm growing at my allotment is James Grieve because it's an older variety that's really tasty, it pollinates other varieties well, and it copes with heavy clay and cold, and we get plenty of that round here!

You know what would be brilliant? Attending an apple day! These happen in September/October and you can go along and lots of different kinds of apples to see what you like. There is a brilliant one near me at Clumber Park, where you can taste them all too! The range of flavours is amazing - so much wider than what you buy in the supermarket (it's worth avoiding some of the supermarket varieties, actually, as they're not the tastiest).

If you have space and are willing to invest a bit of ££ in something special, you could consider heritage varieties - rare apples that are no longer grown because they don't make a big commercial crop. They are often really tasty and you're doing a bit for plant conservation too.

vintagetat Tue 11-Aug-15 09:21:37

Brilliant, thanks for the advice. There are lots of apple days around here, we are in cider county ;)
Sorry if my questions are a bit idiotic, I am new to gardening!!!

shovetheholly Tue 11-Aug-15 09:41:05

Not idiotic at all! I would love to be able to plant an orchard - it's such a dream of mine (not much chance in my very bog standard 30s semi!!) Please do check back in and tell me all about what you've decided to buy and about planting them, so I can enjoy it vicariously!!! grin

GrouchyKiwi Tue 11-Aug-15 14:27:47

So glad I found this thread! I want to grow some fruit trees as well and didn't know a thing about propagating.

agoodbook Tue 11-Aug-15 17:49:16

Also - decide how big you can let them grow.They come on different root stocks , to limit the eventual size of the tree. -( the roots of a tree will go as far out as height) and work out spacing accordingly
You shouldn't need two plums to pollinate, but can I put in my favourite - an old fashioned greengage?

DoreenLethal Tue 11-Aug-15 18:18:06

Also - if you buy from Aldi you can never know if the variety it says is the variety it is. If you want particular varieties then invest in a known variety eg a cider apple, so that you know what it is.

If there are lots of apples around, you won't need three for pollination as the bees aren't restricted to your own garden.

aircooled Tue 11-Aug-15 19:51:50

Thumbs up for a plum/gage. Oullin's Golden Gage is a lovely old variety. You must have a Bramley - properly ripe ones from the tree are a world apart from the acidic green things from the supermarket. Lord Lambourne is a tasty old eater, also good for cooking. Deacon's nursery sells a huge range of fruit trees by mail order. As agoodbook says, check out the rootstock. Growing fruit trees espalier fashion saves space, is fun and easy and impresses visitors! Can't beat a good orchard though.

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