Buying fruit trees

by Pippa Greenwood

Home-grown fruit is something I find difficult to resist; fruit trees make great ornamental, as well as edible, plants.

Apples on a treeHome-grown fruit is something I find difficult to resist; fruit trees make great ornamental, as well as edible, plants. I’ve notice that some of my espalier and cordon fruit trees are passed their best, so I’ll have to remove them. This always makes me sad, but I'm lucky to have an excellent nursery only a few miles from where I live, with a wide range of top-quality stock, where I can buy replacements.

I'd recommend a specialist, local fruit nursery every time — they will be able to supply plants that are most likely to thrive in your area. You can get cordons and partially trained fruit trees too, including espaliers and fans, perfect if you're short of time or a little unsure about what you're doing! And amazingly good value when you consider the time and expertise it takes to get fruit trees ready and trained to this level.

Once new trees are bought and planted in newly enriched soil, you can look forward to the first crop in a few years time. If you’re intending to buy new fruit trees this spring, I’d suggest going by yourself. If your family is anything like mine, discussions can get rather heated — we all have strong and differing views about what we should grow and which cultivars taste best!

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Gardeners' World Web User 19/03/2009 at 19:48

I shudder whenever I see fruit trees for sale in a supermarket! Stacked up in their plastic bags next to the fruit and veg. It would be interesting to hear if anyone has had much success buying from a supermarket?

Gardeners' World Web User 19/03/2009 at 20:20

i have just recieved a family apple tree from DT Brown at a cost of 29.99(not by me, it was a gift)this is a really special addition to my vegetable oriented garden and i just cannot decide where to plant it.I have put it in a large bag filled with miracle grow compost with a bit of top soil on the surface for weight but i know this is non enough to stop root long do i have to site it? please help!!!

Gardeners' World Web User 19/03/2009 at 20:24

Has anyone tried growing minarettes? I haven't enough space left for anything bigger, but wonder if they're worth growing.

Gardeners' World Web User 20/03/2009 at 08:56

I've just bought three cherries on dwarfing rootstock which I want to train into either espalier or fan shape, to partially screen my wee sitootery from overlooking windows. However, when I checked my gardening books, they did just as your site does - described the finished article, but not when and how to produce it. My local garden centre bloke was excellent, but it would be very useful to get real info about what time of year and day is best, should I fasten the branches direct onto the canes to train them or can I simply put a connecting line from the branch to a fixed cane to pull the branch into the right position and let it swing in the wind, should I prune the ends of the branches to encourage spurs and if so when, can I direct the branches all at once or would a bit at a time be safer to avoid snapping them, etc.

Gardeners' World Web User 21/03/2009 at 16:51

Hi all, I live in a terrace and our backyard (15ft length, 8ft wide about) is being transformed into a green oasis. I intend to get a trained fruit tree but wouldn't like it to grow too large. Is there a 'dwarf' type tree? Thanks

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