Hi, we have been given 4 different apple trees and 1 pear tree , is it ok to plant them close to each other? do we need to get a second pear tree to aid pollination? thanks Janet
Do you know what varieties you have and what rootstocks they're grafted on to?
We have 3 Braeburn apples trees, 1 conference pear tree, look about 2-3 years old, in pots. came from a house clearance and hopefully will survive being planted out, no other information I'm afraid
We bought apple/pear trees from Ashridge trees a couple of years ago - they have a great website where you can check out which varieties you need to pollinate which.
We have a pear "Beth" to go with our Conference - don't know about Braeburns, but I'm sure this website will help you out.
Just checked out the website (to make sure I hadn't given you duff info!) - and it is still all there. Your Braeburns are from Group E, so you will need to choose another variety that is D,E or F to go with it.
I think the other alternative is to plant a crab apple, which will pollinate anything.
This site has a list of suitable pollinators for Braeburn http://www.orangepippintrees.co.uk/pollinationchecker.aspx?v=1008 . Braeburn self fertile and will fruit without cross-pollination but yield will be heavier with a suitable tree nearby.
Conference is also self-fertile - the same website describes it as 'genuinely self fertile' and says that it does not need cross-pollination, and that has been my experience.
As for distance apart, without knowing which rootstock they're grafted onto we can't tell how large they will grow. Have a look here http://www.orangepippintrees.co.uk/articles/fruit-tree-spacing-guide - I think I'd assume they're on dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstocks.
If they are on dwarf root stock then you can leave them in pots and just add a good quality feed every few months during the growing season. You can also feet tomato feed once a week when the fruit are starting to swell if you keep them in their pots. I have cherry, apple and plum trees in pots that are approx 5 years old and they gave a good crop last year and as they were in pots I could move them around the garden when we had the hevey wind and rain last year.
Thanks for the comments and advice, has been very useful especially with the web sites suggested.