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Author Topic: Apples for exposed northern sites?  (Read 8027 times)

finglas

  • Joined Jun 2019
Apples for exposed northern sites?
« on: January 05, 2021, 06:56:18 pm »
Hello there,

just looking for some advice from anyone on here who has experience of growing apples/pears/plums in exposed and cold-fish sites. I guess where I am is maybe not exposed but it is in a bit of a dip and it tends to be colder plus being just south of Glasgow we get a lot of wet weather.

At the moment I have James grieve, Katy, clydeside and ribs ton pippin, they seem to be growing well after 3 years but not much in the way of fruit yet

Any advice on varieties would be great,

best wishes.

Jamie

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2021, 07:04:59 pm »
Hi Jamie,

Your best bet is to contact Andrew Lear at plantsandapples.com. However, don't ask him to pick varieties for you - he won't. Instead, describe your situation and ask him to supply [however many] trees for you of whatever type [e.g. eater, cooker etc]. I'm confident you won't regret doing this!



"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

finglas

  • Joined Jun 2019
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2021, 07:20:40 pm »
Thanks womble I actually contacted him today and did ask him to recommend varieties! Doh!!!

But he was very helpful nonetheless.

Thank you,

Jamie

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2021, 12:24:51 am »
We're at 1000 feet (the limit for apples apparently) just a bit south of you, so windy, wet and cold.  Oddly the apple I have found to be consistently good is Blenheim Orange.  It's mainly an eater but can be used as a cooker when fresh.  It's totally delicious, sweet, sharp and perfumed - makes me drool to think of it   :yum: .


The other apple I have which is good is a cooker which I got from John Butterworths at Garden Cottage, Auchinleck Estate Cumnock, AyrshireKA18 2LR
25 years ago.  It's a light green slightly wonky shape but prolific and reliable, although not a keeper.  It could be Hawthornden, which is the same as Lord Ribston I think.  His stock seems to be available at [url]https://www.scottishfruittrees.com/ I'm not sure what's what there - it's a long time since we met John B and his wife and they were soo helpful.

I am ever the optimist so I recently planted several young apples to replace all the ones which didn't make it here, but the fruit is so far staying small and hard - I suppose they need a bigger root system to get going properly.


You will know not to even try Cox's Orange Pippin, delicious though it is when grown in the right place.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 12:39:55 am by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

finglas

  • Joined Jun 2019
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2021, 07:01:04 am »
Thank you fleece wife. Very interesting about blenheim orange, I grafted a few of them last year and theyll be going into their 2nd year now so we shall see howbtheyndo for me too over the coming years.

Thanks very much for the advice. I actually bought a cox's orange pippin from Aldis a couple of years ago and planted it roadside but it was destroyed down to a stub, I think either kids wrecked it or maybe the grass cutter mowed over the top of it!

Anyway great advice, thank you very much. So far ribston pippin seems to be growing well for us but no crop yet. It is a triploid like blenheim orange though, I wonder if that has any impact on it's ability to tolerate harder conditions.

Thanks again,

Jamie

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2021, 07:41:05 am »
We're at 1000 feet (the limit for apples apparently) just a bit south of you, so windy, wet and cold. 
Thats a limit depending on where in the world / country you are.
1000 feet isa 300.4 metres.
In Poland you can still grow PEACHES at 450 metres i.e. 1476 feet approximately.

The further north you go the lower the limit... In orkney you cant grow apples even at sea level  :(
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2021, 11:42:58 am »
We're at 1000 feet (the limit for apples apparently) just a bit south of you, so windy, wet and cold. 
Thats a limit depending on where in the world / country you are.
1000 feet isa 300.4 metres.
In Poland you can still grow PEACHES at 450 metres i.e. 1476 feet approximately.

The further north you go the lower the limit... In orkney you cant grow apples even at sea level  :(

Ooh - peaches and nectarines - imagine  :yum:  I think you can grow them in Scotland if you have a walled garden, a large staff and lots of money for heating the south-facing wall from inside.  Sadly we don't have any of those things.
We really are at the limit for apple growing here and we started out with no expectations of success, but I grew up with a large and prolific orchard in Norfolk where apples were fed to the pigs, so I continue to strive for the perfect tree  :apple: :tree:  Every parasite and sickness homes in on my apple trees with unerring accuracy and speed  :'(  not forgetting hens, geese, sheep, blackbirds, passing children and wasps  ;D
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 11:45:09 am by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2021, 01:39:20 pm »
Try growing dwarf stock apples inside a polytunnel if you have one. Im planning to do that with a peach  :fc:
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2021, 05:09:30 pm »
Try growing dwarf stock apples inside a polytunnel if you have one. Im planning to do that with a peach  :fc:

I do have a polytunnel, quite large and currently full of hens but there wouldn't be room for little trees as just about everything else veggie wise has to be grown in there.  Also the birds would fly in to eat the apples in summer, inevitably.  I don't even have room for globe artichokes in the tunnel.
I've tried growing a restricted double variety tree in a barrel in the front garden, where it's fairly sheltered and has the house and barn walls to catch the sun.  I had some success with that initially but I think container trees need to be replaced frequently - with this one the top variety has stopped producing and the bottom variety isn't that good! 

We were thinking last year of putting up a mesh tunnel for brassicas which might work for your idea too  :thinking: :thinking: :idea:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2021, 09:59:41 pm »
Ive putnup one of those cheap plastic polytunnels from ebay. Frame is aluminium and the cover green plastic. After being properly fixed to thengeound it does the job. Ive put chockenxwire around it and then plastic cover.
Im always planning to make a proper door but never get time (since lockdown stared last March i had NOT A SINGL EDAY OFF WORK!!! except bank holidays)
It is 16 metres long  :innocent:
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2021, 07:06:04 am »
I'm at 280m near inland from Inverness so fruit is kinda marginal. I've had about 5 years experience growing fruit trees so am very much still learning.

1) if you have space grow a range of different types. We get snow most years in May which will wipe out some blossom but if your trees all flower at different times then it won't all be lost.

2) pears are not hardy enough. (although last year I planted 3 pears on big rootstock at the edge of my woods to try. If I get fruit once every 5 years then that will do)

3) damsons are very tough and vigerous, should grow anywhere.  (although mine are often a bit bitter which dissapoints)

4) I think I've had 3 plums from 3 trees in 3 years. Don't know why as my neighbour 3km down the road had a big crop this year.

5) micro climate can make or break your site. Yesterday the above neighbour was -11C my site was only -5 because I'm higher up.  At least as important is exposure to wind. I notice how exposure to wind impacts the grass growth (particularly in spring) in my fields, if it can impact grass you'd better believe it will have a huge impact on fruit trees.

6) There is a lot to be said for local varieties, they should be suited to your climate.

7) there are a couple of excellent fruit tree suppliers in Scotland. Use them. Andrew Lear/appletreeman who I've bought all mine from.  John Hancox / scottishfruittrees  who is more local to you.

8. My most successful varieties are Coul Blush, Beauty of Moray, James Grieve and George Cave but take advice on your area.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 07:10:09 am by oor wullie »

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2021, 07:15:39 am »
Also, if you're south of Glasgow you're not in a Northern site ;)

A few generations ago Clydesdale used to have a lot of commercial orchards (and, incidentally, a significant tomato growing industry!) so the best sites in Clydesdale must be quite good.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2021, 12:16:38 pm »
Also, if you're south of Glasgow you're not in a Northern site ;)

A few generations ago Clydesdale used to have a lot of commercial orchards (and, incidentally, a significant tomato growing industry!) so the best sites in Clydesdale must be quite good.

Yes and no.  I'm in Clydesdale, just not in the fruit growing bit and although I'm south of Glasgow I'm at 1,000', windswept and bloomin' freezin'  :o so microclimate rules. We've had deep lying snow here since Dec 27th, and the temp has rarely risen above zero in the day and down to minus 10 at its coldest at night. And this is not a bad winter.  You're right - one freezing wind at blossom time and that tree has no crop.

For a tiny rant, although the Clyde Valley is famous for tomatoes, would you believe that the Tesco store in Lanark doesn't stock local tomatoes.  I was assured by the manager that " they're not what customers want".  Oh really?  :rant:  Well, maybe being trashco you will believe it. Actually that's old news as I haven't been there for several years now.

Back to fruit trees, I have had pear trees here for 25 years but I've never had an edible pear - pretty blossom though  ;D

That's twice I've seen the variety George Cave mentioned - what is the fruit like from that? (I can always find room for another apple tree to try )  :apple: :tree:
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 12:18:54 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2021, 01:35:18 pm »
I like George Cave, (although I do feel obliged to like anything by that does well!).
I'd describe it as like Cox  but slightly less tangy / acidic, possibly slightly less crisp and a bit bigger.
The fruit I get are usually quite 'clean' and good looking.

Basically, yes I enjoy eating them and would recommend them.


The UK in general and supermarkets in particular are terrible for local food so you're not along in wanting to rant about it!

I'm stuck in a hotel in Norway (long story) just now and last night had apple juice produced in this district and most of the salad & tomatoes are grown locally even in winter (there's several massive glasshouses within a few km where I am).

There are commercial orchards around Bergen (possibly further north, I don't know) - that's like having commercial orchards at Fort William or Kinlochbervie!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Apples for exposed northern sites?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2021, 05:04:57 pm »
Maybe we should be planting local Norwegian varieties of fruit and veg too.


I'll give George Cave a go (sounds fine), and probably James Grieve too - I had one from Butterworths but I planted several trees in the wrong place when we first moved here (nice warm wall but way too wet) and when they were transplanted they lost their labels  ::) .  Several trees got killed by being smashed by a kindly neighbour cutting our orchard for hay  :(  then disease got into the wounds so I don't know which survived.  Silly me.


Bad luck being stuck in a hotel.  Are you allowed out and about?
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

 

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