Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Fruit tree noob  (Read 2261 times)

Steven Dinnage

  • Joined Apr 2014
Fruit tree noob
« on: August 21, 2014, 12:58:47 pm »
I'm soon geeting some fruit trees they will be planted in the area my poultry free range.I want 2-3 eating apple. 1 cooking apple 1 pear and 1 plum. any advice on what varites? or how to grow them for better yeilds? also what 2-3 eating apple trees can i get that will mean i have fresh apple for the longest period of time? Also what the best way to store the fruit for winter Jam and cider?


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Fruit tree noob
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 05:45:23 pm »
Apple varieties will depend on where you live. I;d suggest you have a think about what type of apples you personally prefer as in juicy, nutty, crisp, green, red and then have a word with someone like 'adam's apples' for the options for your area and the rootsock you want. For pears it's a little simpler - less choice as to whether you like hard conference peasr or juicy williams pears or something halfway like a comice. Plums is a no brainer if only one - got to be victoria.

Growing for yields then comes down to a whole different argument and indeed whether you only have three. There's different rootstocks and even grafted family trees with more than one variety on a single root. What I've done here is to stick on some 20 apple varieties along my fence line (with enough room to mow behind) and built a frame to train them as espaliers limiting them to 3 to 4 tiers. It delays getting fruit for a year or two but once done makes pruning, access for spraying and picking way way easier, gives one lots of variety to select for type, whether early, middle or late etc.

Peronally i don;t like the nuisance of storing apples and checking/turning them. Cider is always an option and I stew a lot for the freeze.. but that's 'cos i like stewed apple!


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Fruit tree noob
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 04:34:30 pm »
You know about choosing he right pollination groups?


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Fruit tree noob
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2014, 12:22:23 am »
It's quite complex and very personal. We've planted about 60 fruit trees since moving in - of which the majority are apples and pears. We have a specialist nursery close by and they guy I spoke to knew our area so he helped with advice on rootstock. Then I went through their catalogue and chose from those on the right root stock. I wanted traditional British varieties (apart from a couple which I just loved having tasted them elsewhere), they had to cross pollinate (although if you get a crabapple, that flowers long enough to pollinate quite a lot of other varieties) and I wanted a range of seasons - like you, some to eat in August, some to keep through the winter. I also chose a couple of cider apples and a couple of cooker/eaters - we have some huge Bramleys so I didn't go for any new cookers. We've got two James Grieve's because I love their juice and they can be used for cooking and eating so tick a few boxes.

We won't store all - we've got a big apple press and drink loads of fruit juice so the vast majority will be juiced (& pasteurised) longer term. I will also crush and press apples for other people once I have my hygiene certificate - I reckon there's quite a big market for people who have their own trees and don't want to waste their apples but can't use them all or be bothered to store them.

My local nursery is Keepers ( and even if you don't buy through them, they have a huge list of different varieties with descriptions/uses/seasons etc. that you can trawl through to help you decide.


  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Fruit tree noob
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2014, 11:23:43 am »
Oh no!  So many choices.  What a great nursery :tree: :tree: :tree: !  I can feel a spending spree coming on :excited: .  Another 7 years before any fruits though?


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Fruit tree noob
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2014, 03:24:05 pm »
No, should be quicker than seven years. The really slow ones are walnuts and mulberries. We planted most of our trees 18 months ago (most were two year olds so first year of formal pruning) and have had a few plums, peaches, apricots, cherries (mind you the birds took most), apples, crab apples and pears this year. The almond also had some nuts on but I haven't checked recently to see whether they're still there or whether the squirrel has nicked them. We're waiting on quince, mulberry, persimmon, damson, gage, walnut and sweet chestnuts for any signs of fruit/nuts but happy to hold out because they're all looking healthy so hopefully it is only a matter of time.

Oh, and Keepers will graft to order if you have a very specific requirement - I want a Kingston Black on MM106 and (I think) they're doing that for next year. They will also replace for free if your tree fails in its first year although I didn't claim for the one the goose chewed because that felt a bit unfair!



  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Fruit tree noob
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2014, 08:04:07 pm »
And I'll just take this opportunity to push my nutty ideas: Monkey puzzle seeds (but a single sex tree so you need a few), cold hardy pecans and hickory nuts also for those prepared to wait - or plant for future generations)

This site will occupy anyone with growing room and give you an extended wish list:


  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Fruit tree noob
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2014, 07:14:29 pm »

Another vote for Keepers, fantastic nursery, I've used them for fruit trees for 9 years.

If you want to maximise your growing season, it depends where you are. Here in Kent our season is very long, I don't have to worry too much about frost getting the blossom. This adds more flexibility, without knowing where the OP is, it's very hard to explicitly recommend varieties.

I've found both Discovery and Reverend Wilks tend to work very well for early season. Have had Discovery store till Christmas, wrapped individually with news paper, in a cardboard box in the porch.

You can store apples by canning/bottling (either as apple sauce, or larger chunkier bits), freezing, drying, or just as above, wrapped in paper in a cardboard box in a dark well ventilated place.

Good luck and happy growing.



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