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Author Topic: Best fruit trees for Scotland?  (Read 37848 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« on: January 04, 2011, 12:51:43 am »

Yay! So my parents have promised us three fruit trees of our choice for Christmas.  We're really lucky, in that we have a few apple trees here already, so I was wondering about some other fruits as well. I'd really love a pear or plum tree for instance.

So, can anybody recommend varieties of fruit tree that are traditional to Scotland, or do well in our climate, and where I might source them from?  I was planning to plant them next to the existing trees, to make the area into a bit of an orchard. This area is protected from the prevailing wind by some evergreen bushes, but is still fairly exposed to the elements. NB we're in the Central Belt, but at about 200m altitude.

Thanks in advance!

Womble.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett
Voss Electric Fence

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 01:48:48 am »
Hi Womble.  When we first started buying fruit trees, John Butterworth at Auchinleck was just starting up - he propagated many varieties of Scottish fruit trees, such as James Grieve, Hawthornden, etc.  He seems to have retired now.  A few months ago Wizard mentioned that someone had taken over his stock, but sadly Wizard has passed on since then, but it could be written in an old message, or someone might remember.

Of the initial fruit trees we bought, only some have survived and some have not fruited.  We are at 1000 feet, cold and windy, so at the limit for apple growing. A surprise to me was that the apple variety Blenheim Orange has done extremely well here - it is dual purpose but especially delicious as an eater.  One of John Butterworths original cookers has also done really well, but I've no idea what it's called - sorry  ::).  An eater which I don't think is local is Red Falstaff and that has done well.  We have grown Merryweather Damsons which are great, but the trees don't last all that long although they crop really heavily.  Another plum which I would recommend is Oullin's Golden Gage - it crops every year reliably.  Victoria plum (I bought 3) all died.  Czar did well except in boggy areas.  No pears have done well up here but you may be luckier lower down.  Bramley apple starts off well, but each one has succumbed to something eventually.
What does do really well here are things like raspberries, brambles, blackcurrants and gooseberries, strawberries too, even blueberries and a big surprise - Mirabels.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 11:12:34 am »
I don't think Butterworths are trading anymore
http://www.butterworthsorganicnursery.co.uk/
I like these guys
http://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/
Loads of good advice from them - just drop them an email
HTH
Karen x

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 07:40:46 pm »
I bought all my (15) apple trees from Butterworths, and three years on they are all still growing and hopefully starting to fruit soon. I also have some that I bought in 2001 for my Edinburgh garden, planted into half barrels and they have moved with us down to the Borders:
These four are: Grenadier, James Grieve, White Melrose (cooker), and Discovery.

Have found that my plum trees (one bought in 2007, two in 2008) have so far not even flowered, but are growing ok.

We are about 100m up - can't really do feet - and we are fairly exposed, so have not tried any pear or similar yet. Also as Fleecewife said, rasps, especially autumn ones, are brilliant here, also have currants and gooseberries. I am in the process of giving up the strawberries, too many slugs and mice...

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 08:07:22 pm »
please can i ask what a mirabel is????????

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 09:00:29 pm »
Mirabel Plums.
 :farmer:

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 10:21:04 pm »
great thread as just about to clear a wee area for fruit (trees) near to my bees so this is really helpful - many thanks :)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 12:25:31 am »
please can i ask what a mirabel is????????

Yes a kind of tiny plum, also called Myrobalan.  Not like a bullace which is a purple cultivated plum gone wild, but a native of somewhere towards Russia-ish  ;D.  They grow in our hedgerows and when they crop are covered in hundreds of tiny red or yellow cherry-sized plums - which gives them their nickname of Miracles.  They make delicious jam, as long as you like sucking on pips, and any left over feed the birds. Well worth adding a few to a wildlife hedge.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

manian

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 07:03:56 am »
we moved from the south coast to the midlands and couldn't belive the delay in growing season so must be the same even further north.... ;)
we went to an independant nursery and talking to the chap there he guided us to what type of things we wanted etc and made sure we didn't buy anything that was not suitable in our area ( he gave us a list as well so we didn't have to buy from him and could do some more researchabout cross pollination) his trees were in good condtion and cheaper than other places.) all have done well, he explained the best way to plant etc and very helpful.
my advice would be go to nurseries (not the comercial garden centres) and see what they come up with
Mx

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 07:45:16 am »
I know that the 'Bloody Plougman' apple tree is a Scottish variety (eater) which tolerates frost and cold conditions better than most  ;)
The advice I was given (think it was from John Butterworth, before he stopped trading) was, if you're in a cold/high/exposed place go for the largest rootstock you can accomodate (bearing in mind spacing and eventual size) so for best results avoid any dwarfing rootstock. And for ensured pollination and good results include a crab apple in your plans.
For apples look for MM111 or M25 rootstock, pears that are more vigerous are Pyrodwarf and Pyrus rootstocks. St Julien A and Brompton rootstocks for plums.
HTH
Karen

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 07:40:13 pm »
i got my apple trees from Adams Apples and he has loads of scottish varieties.(though he based in south) he was very helpful but ud have to order soonish to get the ones u want. i only planted last year so still early days for us. my plum tree finally fruited after being planted 5 years go - so at least 6 years old. we bought  a conference pear tree, with fruit on 4 years ago, and never seen it fruit since. wer in NE scotland. :wave:

silver swan

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Scotland
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2011, 02:23:39 pm »
Hi Womble,

Did you get your trees?

If not, re: pears, I have 3 container grown pears that all produced a few pears in 2010; Comice, Concorde and Beth. As they're 'big twigs' i put them in the greenhouse on nights when frost was predicted (to protect the blossom) but obviously won't be able to do this for much longer/when they're in the ground.

Something else you may like to consider is a Morello Cherry. Ours is very productive.


ballingall

  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2011, 09:24:24 pm »
Was discussing Greengages with my aunt at the weekend as she has had her trees for 3 or 4 years now. She still hasn't got any fruit, which is disappointing as I only got mine last year!

We had an excellent Victoria Plum at our old house, and they do seem to do ok in Scotland. My sister has the best eating apple tree I have ever come across- but I don't know what variety it is!


Beth

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2011, 01:41:29 pm »
Was discussing Greengages with my aunt at the weekend as she has had her trees for 3 or 4 years now. She still hasn't got any fruit, which is disappointing as I only got mine last year!

We had an excellent Victoria Plum at our old house, and they do seem to do ok in Scotland. My sister has the best eating apple tree I have ever come across- but I don't know what variety it is!


Maybe your Aunt hasn't got a pollinator. If she hasn't, Victoria Plums are a good choice for a pollinator.


Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Best fruit trees for Scotland?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2011, 10:22:44 pm »
Did you get your trees?

Sorry, just saw this post.  Well, the answer is yes and no!   I've decided to hang back just for a bit, since we need to take a rotten limb of a birch tree that overhangs the 'orchard', and really need to drop it right over where I want to plant the new trees.

That said, I did pick up a victoria plum and a braeburn apple from Aldi this week (both self pollinating, and too cheap not to give them a go), so I'm going to plant them out in a different area this week, and just see what happens.  Still on the lookout for pears and traditional scottish apples though, so if you have any that need re-homing, do give me a shout!!  ;D

I found a book on pruning in a charity shop the other day too, so I'm going to read up and then see if I can get the existing trees into better shape. They've been ignored the last few years, and one is in very bad shape indeed - just hope it can be rescued with some TLC!!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 

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