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The fruit trees that take up the least space are certainly the various rigidly trained and shaped forms: cordons, espaliers, fans, and their variations. They do, however; have to be trained and tied in to wires to keep them in the right shape and in good order They can be grown either against a wall or fence or in the open garden. All need summer pruning, but are very economical of ground space. They should always be grown on a suitably dwarfing rootstock, however.
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Once you have decided on the varieties you are interested in you will need to decide which format you want your trees supplied as. This page will help you to decide which is best for your purposes. The following table summarises the formats we offer. Detailed specification notes are provided below the table.
Fruit trees are usually measured by height, not girth which is more usual for ornamental trees. This "pot-net" treatment is more reliable than regular containers in the case of plum trees supplied over the winter.
Most of our bare-root fruit trees are supplied as 1-year old "maidens" - this means they will arrive as a single flexible stem between 1m and 1. Some varieties will have naturally produced some initial side-branches, and are known as "feathered maidens", but most will not, and are known as "maiden whips". Note that it is not possible to supply maiden whips for varieties that produce feathers.
The maiden tree is the most versatile of all the forms we supply, since it can be trained into almost any style you require, and is definitely recommended if you intend to train the tree as a fan or espalier, or if you want to grow your tree in one of the styles which require the central leader to be retained e.
We generally do not prune maiden trees at all, but it is sometimes necessary to remove shoots that may form low on the stem. This "bottom pruning" is most likely to be required on weaker varieties, where side shoots low on the stem can redirect valuable growth away from the main stem. The majority of our container-grown and bare-root fruit trees are 2 years old, and supplied as branched "bush" trees.
This means they have had some initial training, with a length of clear stem usually cm and a branched head with a minimum of 3 main shoots. The minimum height is 1. The advantage of the short stem is that as it grows, the main framework of the tree remains fairly close to the ground, making picking and maintenance easier.
This initial formative training in the nursery gets the tree off to a good start and is ideal if you do not want to do too much pruning and training yourself. For this reason, a bush-trained container-grown tree is often a good choice if you are giving the tree as a gift to a friend or relative. In general the bush-tree is the most popular style of fruit tree for most gardens, and it is suitable for a wide range of mature tree heights from dwarf trees of only 1.
Although the word "bush" implies it will be a small shrub, this is not so - the term relates to the vase-like shape of the tree, not the height. Depending on the variety and species they will have a dominant stem and several side branches, and are intended to be grown on in the garden as feature trees.
We distinguish these trees from our 2-year bush-trained trees because they are less amenable to bush-style training and will tend more towards a half-standard format crab-apples and stone fruit or multi-stemmed shrubs hazels in the longer term.
We sometimes buy in commercial-grade spindle-bush trees , which have the central leader retained, and wide-angled side-shoots already started at around waist height.
The trees are cut back at the end of the first year, and then re-grown in the second year - a technique developed by Dutch growers, hence the term "knip" which means "cut".
These trees have been produced for commercial orchards, so they are very productive and should start fruiting in the year of planting. Some of our container-grown fruit trees are available as 2 year old patio-trained trees.
These are usually varieties which are naturally suited to growing in a patio container or pot. You do not have to plant them in a patio container though - they are still perfectly suitable for planting in open ground.
A half-standard tree is typically used as a specimen tree for the garden, or for a small orchard where a traditional appearance is required.
The trees are 2-years old, grafted on semi-vigorous rootstocks. They have a minimum height as supplied of 1. As the tree grows you should be able to achieve a mature clear stem of 1.
Premium half-standards have extra fruitbud-pruning in the second summer, which should encourage some fruit to appear the first summer after planting. A good definition of a standard tree is one that you can walk under - or cattle can graze under.We do not supply standards as such, since it takes several years to achieve the 6ft clear stem. However we offer a range of 2-year bare-root trees on vigorous rootstocks which have had the necessary initial training suitable to be grown-on as standards.
At the end of their second autumn in the nursery these trees are "headed" at about 1. They are supplied with a clear stem of about 90cm and any side branches above this height will be pruned back, with the aim of encouraging extension growth in the top of the tree in the summer after planting.
Customers then have the option to prune out branches below the desired height the following winter, and as the tree grows, the stem can be progressively cleared each winter to "lift" the canopy to the eventual desired height.
The total height of the tree including roots as supplied by us will be about 2m. We offer some fruit tree varieties trained as container-grown or bare-root cordons , intended to be planted out at 45 degrees as oblique cordons. These trees have a 40cm clear stem and a minimum height of 1. Only varieties which are suitable for cordon training are offered in this format. Premium cordons have additional fruitbud pruning in their second year in the nursery, which should ensure fruiting in the first summer after planting.
We have a small range of espalier and fan-trained fruit trees , which have been pre-trained on a cane framework over a 2-year period in the nursery. See this page for more details. We generally do not supply trees older than years, because older trees are much more difficult to transplant successfully.
It is very important to get a fruit tree established in its final location before it reaches "adulthood" and stops growing. This is different to ornamental trees which will often continue growing for many years oaks being the obvious example. Planting fruit trees is a long-term investment and unfortunately there are no short-cuts.The only reliable way to get that feature pear tree in your lawn or that established apple espalier growing up the side of your house is to be decisive and plant a young tree now - and then enjoy watching it grow and transform into a lovely mature tree.
The size information we provide such as "small" or "medium" relates to the mature size of the tree - not the size of the tree as we supply it. Regardless of the expected mature size of the tree, as supplied it is likely to be 1m - 1. On rare occasions we may cut the tree down in order to fit into our carriers' packaging. If this is necessary, it is done just prior to shipping and does not affect the growth of the tree - in fact in the case of bare-root trees it is good practice to prune the tree just after transplanting anyway.
The most important thing to consider when selecting a fruit tree is how big you ultimately want it to be - its mature height. The mature height is affected by many factors but the main one is the rootstock on which the tree has been propagated. A typical apple tree, growing in the wild on its own "seedling" roots, might reach a height of 5m-6m.
A wild cherry tree will be even larger. By propagating the desired variety onto size-controlling rootstocks, the final height can be limited to something more suitable for a garden or small orchard. Rootstocks are usually derived from related species of trees which are naturally smaller - or more "dwarfing". For example, pear trees are often grafted on to rootstocks derived from quinces which are closely related to pears but produce smaller trees. Apple trees are usually grafted on to rootstocks derived from related Malus species.
For more information about rootstocks see this page. The rootstock also has a big influence on the time it takes the fruit tree to reach its mature height.
In general, the more dwarfing the rootstock the quicker the tree will mature.Apples on the extremely dwarfing M27 rootstock may reach their mature height and spread within years - which of course means you will be enjoying full crops relatively quickly. Apple trees grown on the MM rootstock will take longer and be bigger of course - perhaps years, but will start bearing a useful crop after 4 years or so.
Rates are different for different species, plums for example generally take a couple of years longer than apples to reach full maturity. The next most important factor which will determine the mature size of the tree is the natural vigour of the fruit variety.
For example, Bramley's Seedling is a vigorous variety, and grown in the same conditions and on the same rootstock as, say, a Rubinette, is likely to produce a larger tree. Other factors influencing the mature size of the tree are the local conditions that you provide after planting - soil, climate, annual temperatures, and cultivation techniques. Different varieties have different preferences, and one variety may thrive whilst another struggles in your particular conditions.
We provide approximate mature heights as a guide, but please bear in mind all the above information when deciding what size meets your requirements. If you need advice please use our enquiry form and we will be happy to help. Our fruit trees are generally supplied in containers or as bare-root trees.
The trees are labelled, but we do not show prices on the labels. Photos of trees as supplied. For more details on the merits of each format see our page on bare-root vs container trees. Autumn We are selling out of many of the trees already this season.
Please order as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Home Help and Advice How to choose fruit trees. Fruit tree sizes and forms Once you have decided on the varieties you are interested in you will need to decide which format you want your trees supplied as. Summary of Fruit Tree Forms The following table summarises the formats we offer.Form Dimensions as supplied Description 12L container fruit tree - bush-trained 30cmcm clear stem cm minimum height This is generally the best format for garden fruit trees.
The term "bush" refers to the style of training, not the eventual height of the tree. Age: 2 years. Minimum of 3 main shoots. Most bush-trained fruit trees will have a short clear stem and then a branched canopy, but apricots, peaches and nectarines tend to have a longer dominant central shoot with many more side shoots.
In the longer term you are likely to be able to achieve a clear stem of 1. Age: 2 years to 5 years depending on species. Some naturally smaller species will be less than cm as supplied. They have a dominant central stem with side-shoots.
Fans have at least 4 main arms and a central shoot. Espaliers have at least 2 tiers and a central stem which can be grown on to produce further tiers. Bare-root tree - maiden Height varies from cm - cm A 1 year old tree. Some may have side branches feathers while others will be a single un-fearthered stem whip. The extent of feathering depends on the variety. Bare-root tree - bush 30cmcm clear stem cm minimum height 2-years old with a minimum of 3 main shoots, trained as a bush, with no central leader.
There are various systems by which apples may be grown successfully — even in small gardens. Some systems ensure that the trees take up a minimum of space and require little pruning , so that the highest possible yield is obtained. Full standard trees have trunks about 6 ft. Such trees should have been grafted on to strong stocks, because they do not come into cropping early, and five or six years may pass before any apples can be picked.
Younger branches are much more flexible than older branches, bend them when they are one or two years old. Older branches do not bend easily.
Espalier is a technique of training trees through pruning and grafting that results in largely two -dimensional growth to create decorative patterns. The slender spindle training system keeps a tree small and productive by managing height and pruning and positioning small lateral fruiting branches. This area contains approximately 40 trees, on mini-dwarf rootstock, within an area previously occupied by two apple trees. Apple orchards traditionally contained full size trees spaced feet apart. Besides taking up a lot of room, these large trees required workers to use ladders for pruning and harvesting. Many commercial orchards throughout E. Washington and the world started experimenting with an easier way to grow apples using the espalier system.
Untie lateral branches on spindle bush apple trees, which have 'set' at the required angle. Protect fan trained peaches and nectarines against the disfiguring fungal disease, peach leaf curl. Encourage birds especially blue tits into garden by putting up nest boxes. They will feed on caterpillars and other pests. Check stored fruit and remove any that shows signs of rotting.
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Apples will not crop well on exposed sites; near the coast, or over metres above sea level. Do not plant on a north-facing slope, or at the bottom of any slope where frost might gather. Choose a warm, sheltered spot, not shaded in any way — especially by large trees that would rob the apple trees of food, water and light. Too much shelter, on the other hand, increases the risk of disease attack, because the foliage stays damp longer. The ideal soil is deep, fertile, well-drained but moisture-retentive, and slightly acidic.
Bush Pyramid Cordon, Single, double or triple Half standard.Hard pruning lessens the amount of flower buds being served by tree and allows for better production from the remaining bugs. Lift, prune and replant. Large trees done over 2 year span. Stake after pruning.
We supply a large selection of bare root fruit trees. Trained Cordon. Two year trees with One year fruit trees from 1m – m depending on the type.
Establishment of orchard 2. Orchard cultivation. Establishment of orchard. Establishment of an orchard is a long term investment and deserves a very critical planning.
We grow a variety of bare root fruit trees in various sizes to suit the smaller and larger garden. All of the trees are grown for a full growing season before despatch to encourage deep rooting for stability and fast establishment after planting. Our bare root fruit trees are measured in height from ground level to the top of the tree, not measured by girth. The below information will help you and guide you in the right direction to choose the best ornamental bare root trees for your garden space. These specifications are for guidance only, as nature offers variation between varieties and within each tree form.
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Once you have decided on the varieties you are interested in you will need to decide which format you want your trees supplied as. This page will help you to decide which is best for your purposes. The following table summarises the formats we offer. Detailed specification notes are provided below the table. Fruit trees are usually measured by height, not girth which is more usual for ornamental trees. This "pot-net" treatment is more reliable than regular containers in the case of plum trees supplied over the winter.Most of our bare-root fruit trees are supplied as 1-year old "maidens" - this means they will arrive as a single flexible stem between 1m and 1.
All basic pruning requirements completed before delivery. An excellent quality cooking apple variety, Lord Derby Malus domestica 'Lord Derby' has large, firm, apples which are an attractive, green colour with a distinctive ribbed angular shape. Cook early when green for a sharp taste.