Water young trees regularly until roots are well established. Trim annually from mid to late summer - we have written a guide on how to best prune a fruit tree to ensure healthy growth and bumper crops. Follow this link to read it.
Apply some fertilizer in spring in order to promote healthy growth and a good crop.
Planting a fruit tree is quick and simple. We’ve produced a handy guide to make sure you get all the basics right. Follow this link to read the guide which is accompanied with a how to video.
Fruit trees will only produce fruit if their flowers have been pollinated. This is usually done by flying insects such as honey bees, bumblebees, flies, wasps etc. This tree is self-pollinating; it produces compatible flowers that can pollinate each other. However, even self-fertile varieties tend to crop better when another cultivar is planted nearby for pollination. Although this is not necessary to produce fruit, it will offer improved crops. The two trees will have to be near each other for the pollination process to be successful. The general consensus is that the two trees should be within 18m (55ft) of each other. To make things a bit easier fruit trees are categorised into different pollination groups. Just remember that the fruit must be of the same species but of a different variety; only an apple tree can pollinate another apple tree. However, if you buy two of these 'Cox's Orange Pippins' they will not offer each other any of the additional benefits of cross pollination.
The pollination groups are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, according to flowering time. Best results will be obtained if one variety is planted near another apple tree of the same group. In the UK, because of our longer spring, you can also choose a partner from a group on either side (so an ideal pollination partner for group 3 would be one in group 2, 3 or 4).
Fruit Tree Rootstocks
Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by the nursery, this means the roots of the tree are a different plant to the trunk, branches and fruit. Effectively sticking two plants together, one that has good roots and one that has good fruit, ensures that you get what you pay for. Plants raised from seed will vary from the parent plants and there will be a wide variation in the size or shape of a tree and the quality and quantity of fruit it produces. Another result of budding and grafting a variety onto selected rootstocks is the ability to control the size of the tree to a certain degree. However, the size that a fruit tree ultimately grows to is dependent on a number of factors:
Some varieties of tree are naturally more vigorous than others, so this will affect how much they grow each year. For instance a Bramley Apple seedling will naturally grow bigger than a Cox’s Orange Pippin Apple seedling. The correct pruning will also help to control the size of tree, as well as encouraging it to produce flower buds from which fruit develop.
- The fruit variety ( i.e. Apple Braeburn)
- How it’s pruned
- Soil type
- Its rootstock
Where you grow your fruit tree and the soil it is growing in also impacts on its ability to grow and thus eventual size. Most fruit trees need a good amount of sunshine to grow well and for the fruit to ripen with high sugar content. Trees growing in cold, open spots will grow slower than those that are protected and warm. The same is true for the soil, with trees growing in light sandy soils generally growing more slowly and not reaching such a large size as those in rich fertile soils which will be more vigorous and taller growing.