Frequently asked questions 1. What is the recommended spacing for fruit trees ?
This is determined by the rootstock :
Apple trees on MM106 half standard ,4-5 metres ,180-200 trees per acre ,500/hectare, the same for pears ,cherries ,plums.
Apple trees on M25 standards, 8-10 metres,40-50 trees per acre ,100-125/hectare
Always allow more space rather than less, think about grass management when the orchard is mature.
Fruit trees grow bigger on clay soils and less on sandy soils
2. How big will my trees be on arrival ?
Our trees are vigorous they should be between 4 and 6 feet tall ,1.2-1.8 metres,on despatch. A few older varieties are less vigorous and maybe slightly smaller. Generally we will inform you of this.
3. How tall will the trees grow?
This is determined by the rootstock, soil type and variety
MM106 , Colt, St.Julien, Quince C– 12-15 feet ,4-5 metres
M25 – 25-30 feet 8-10 metres
4. How should I treat my trees on arrival ?
We package the trees carefully to prevent them drying out and being damaged in transit.
If you are not ready to plant them for a few days keep them somewhere cool and open the packaging a little, to let the stems breath, keep the roots wrapped. They can be stored like this for 7-10 days but make sure the roots are moist to touch not dry.
If the ground is too wet or frozen it is best to delay planting and heel the plants in soil or moist straw.
Plant by mid-March .
5. How long will I have to wait to get fruit?
Half standards ,MM106 rootstock will crop two years after planting and give good crops by year five.
Full standards, M25 rootstock will need to form a crown before cropping this will take 3-5 years . Cropping will begin in year 5 and increase by year 7 heavy crops will be achieved.
6. Should the trees be pruned in the first year?
Maiden trees that is one year old trees should be pruned shortly after planting before they come into leaf.
Do this by reducing the growth by 30-40cm to a bud ,most trees will then stand at about chest height 1.2 metres when planted and pruned.
This pruning will encourage cropping branches lower down the tree.
For more advice on pruning see pruning section in growing advice
7. Which varieties are good for training as cordons and espaliers?
The best varieties are good spur bearers but not tip bearers.
Spur bearers are indicated in the features of the apple varieties described. We can put together a special collection of apple varieties suitable for training see apple collections.
All the pear varieties offered train well as cordons or espaliers, Comice and Williams will appreciate a warm sheltered wall, south or west facing.
Plums ,cherries ,peaches and nectarines are best fan trained.
8.Can orders be collected?
You are welcome to collect from the nursery but please give us a couple of days warning.
9. When will my trees arrive?
For plants in pots like blueberries we send out round the year.
We send most bare-root tree orders out between January and March though trade orders and those intended for christmas presents get sent before Christmas. We do contact you by phone or e-mail to advise when your order is being sent. You can arrange to have your order left in a save place if you are not expecting to be in when the delivery arrives.
10.When is the best time to place an order?
Orders can be placed throughout the year. By September we start to get busy and we tend to sell out of many varieties by Christmas,so if require particular varieties it is best to order early.