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Fruit trees for London garden

(5 Posts)
sotiredtoday Mon 30-Oct-17 16:41:01

Hello, I want to plant some fruit trees to a west london garden. Any suggestions on varieties that work well for you ?

I am thinking of King of the Pippins for apple, Sollissimo for kiwi and Victoria Plum. I am not sure about the plum : I am looking for something which is ripe in September and is easy to eat + easy to make jam from.
I want trees that are well suited for London, are self-pollinating or easy to pollinate with local trees and will give lots of lovely fruits

handslikecowstits Tue 31-Oct-17 10:56:02

I live further north but I have three apple trees, a plum and a cherry so I think I can help here.

Apple - why have you chosen King OTP? There are lots of apples which are Cox based. Is it the fruiting time which appeals, type of fruit? Be aware that when a fruit tree is described as 'partially self fertile' (which King is) it means that it will fruit on its own but it won't produce as much as if it has had a pollinating partner.

I don't grow Kiwi fruit but have looked up your variety and it sounds OK.Due to the micro climate that London has, you'll hopefully get ripe fruit in a good summer. Be aware though that in a bad one, you might get lots of unripe kiwis.

Plums - tend to come a bit earlier than apples. Victoria is definitely a good cooking plum. Read here for further info on it. I think you could do better than Victoria especially if you want plums which taste good fresh. I have Opal which is produces tonnes of fruit every year and has good disease resistance. I've been told Victoria can be a bit finicky.

One thing you do need to consider regardless of which varieties you buy is the rootstocks the apple trees will come on. The rootstock will decide the size of the eventual tree. It is therefore vital that you do not buy a tree on a rootstock which is unsuitable for the size of your garden. Different fruit are grown on different rootstocks. My Opal fruit tree for example, is grown on 'pixy' rootstock which is a dwarfing one. There are more rootstocks for apples usually starting with an 'M' which stands for Malling (I can talk about this all day!). This is a good rootstock guide but bear in mind that this site doesn't sell all apples available so only use it as a guide.

Finally, don't expect fruit straight away. It might be a few years before you get fruit on your trees. If you won't wait then consider buying 'patio' fruit trees. These can be grown in containers (large ones, mind) and will fruit earlier but watering is very important as obviously they are in containers.

As any further questions, I'll try to answer them.

handslikecowstits Tue 31-Oct-17 10:58:15

As = ask

And the rootstocks apply to both plums and apples, not just apples.

sotiredtoday Tue 31-Oct-17 11:55:17

Thanks so much for your detailed and helpful answer !

I am keen on the King of Pippins because I love the taste of its apple and it is also a good cooking apple. All my neighbors have apple trees (I live in an area that used to be an orchard) and as King of the Pippins is a D apple, I understand that it should be compatible with at least some of their trees. Does that seem reasonable to you ?

The Opal plum is exactly what I am after . It looks great, my only concern is that it seems to produce fruits in July and August and we are often away in August. Do you have a suggestion for a similar tree to Opal which produces in September ? I found the Marjory Seedling variety on the (very useful) website you suggested : it's a september crop and self fertile, which seems ideal.

Yes, I understand that my trees will not produce immediately !! I will try to get trees that are as mature as possible to speed up the process but know that I must be patient ...

Thanks !

handslikecowstits Tue 31-Oct-17 13:01:03

Marjory seedling seems one to try as it crops late. I'm not familar with it but it has an AGM and good reviews.

If your neighbours have apple trees, then you should be fine with the King tree. The best pollinators are crab apples, actually but if there are apple trees in the vicinity, then there shouldn't be a problem with pollination.

Keep your trees well watered especially in the first year and mulch and feed in subsequent years and all should be well.

The Fruit Expert by D.G. Hessayon is a good one to buy for simple cultivation info. It's not so good for cultivars but the information is good.

If you want details of good places to buy online, I can give you some info. Now is the time to buy bare root plants.

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