Growing apple trees

by Pippa Greenwood

The scruffy, peculiar-looking apple tree is under discussion again, with only one of us voting for the chainsaw option.

Blossom on apple treeWe try to run our house along democratic lines. This, I'm convinced, is the right way to be, but it does mean that a final decision can be difficult to reach, especially on things we all care passionately about.

The scruffy, peculiar-looking apple tree is under discussion again, with only one of us voting for the chainsaw option. Today I'm determined to make that voter change his fatherly mind. You see, the tree is now in blossom, covered from head to mis-shapen toe with gorgeous white, pink-tinged blossom - far prettier than many ornamental trees.

It's a real delight to see fruit trees right now as they're breathtakingly beautiful. I can't help wondering why more people don't grow tree fruit. There is the misconception that it requires acres of space, but that needn't be the case. Yes, it's great to have a classically shaped tree, but there are plenty of other options if space is short.

Fans, espaliers, simple cordons and step-overs can all be pretty productive and look gorgeous at this time of year. They also produce fruit that tastes like nothing you can buy and can be grown totally organically at no extra cost. A trained fruit tree looks wonderful too, when decorated with its sweet-tasting crop. So don't think ornamentals, think edible ornamentals!

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Gardeners' World Web User 15/05/2008 at 19:34

Having a apple tree overhanging into our garden I agree they are lovely this time of year its branches are a bit all over the place but the fruit last year tasted like nothing you could buy,just to go down the garden and pick them after watching them grow all summer is great.I have planted 2 fruit trees last year in half barrels one a necterine and one a cherry.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/05/2008 at 08:34

where is monty don.He has gone from gardeners world with no explanation.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/05/2008 at 12:08

I have a beautiful young apple tree in my garden which is currently in full bloom. The only thing is, I don't know whether it's a male or female. How can I find out? Many thanks

Gardeners' World Web User 16/05/2008 at 18:07

I have just bought an espalier apple tree, which I am hoping to keep in a large container. I only have a small garden so this method is ideal. Has anyone any experience of this type of growing as I would be grateful for any advice, being a novice but enthusiastic gardener.

Gardeners' World Web User 17/05/2008 at 04:01

I moved here with my family in 1975, one apple tree was demolish and the other cut down and this quickly grew again I have had many years of beautiful blossom on this tree such a delight the fruits no good but what the matter.

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