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Fun at Lymefield

This May, our team is running children’s activities during the half term holidays.

Call the Tea Room on 01457 764686 to book your child’s place.

Wednesday 29th May

Two sessions: 9.30am & 10am

All workshops are £6 per child including all materials & refreshment for the participant.

Payment is taken when booking.

There are only 10 spaces per session so book early to avoid disappointment.

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Choosing your favourite fruit tree

Fruit Trees

Fruit Trees are a fabulous & edible addition to your garden. The most popular tree fruit sold in our garden centre is an apple tree, providing one of your five a day from your garden. When the correct decisions are made when purchasing an apple tree, they can be very productive – find out below the different factors to consider. We have concentrated on apple trees throughout but many of these factors apply to all other types of fruit trees.

Type of apple

The first choice you will have to make is the kind of apple you want, either a dessert apple or a cooking apple, bear in mind that to get a good harvest it is necessary to have two trees to pollinate each other. So you can also have both types of trees too! In the North West where our garden centre, Lymefield is based, we would recommend mid- to late- flowering varieties to reduce the risk of the blossoms being damaged by late frosts.

Triploids or Not

Just to add to the decision, another thing that needs considering is that some varieties are triploids. These fruit trees are very poor pollinators and therefore if you wish to grow one that is a triploid (i.e. Bramley Seedling) then two other trees will need to be planted to ensure the best possible chance of pollination.

Pollination season

Below is a very brief list of a few popular apple tree varieties and their flowering times: Mid Season Flowering
  • Cox’s Orange Pippin (d)
  • Discovery (d)
  • Elstar (d)
  • Epicure (d)
  • Fiesta (d)
  • Granny Smith (d/c)
  • James Grieve (d)
  • Worchester Pearmain (d)
  • Bramley Seedling(Triploid) (c)
  • Crispin(Triploid) (d/c)
Mid/Late Flowering
  • Gala (d)
  • Golden Delicious (d)
  • Howgate Wonder (c)
  • Laxtons Superb (d)
  • Jonagold(Triploid) (d)
(c)=culinary (d)=dessert Ideally, you would be better off choosing two varieties that flower in the same season, either from mid-season or mid/late season. But do bear in mind that all trees will aid in pollination of each other.

Rootstock

Another major factor is what rootstock the tree has been grown on as fruit trees are often grafted onto another type of tree to aid growth. An apple growing on its own root i.e. if you planted an apple seed and just let it grow into a tree, would not be strong and it would take many years to fruit. However, if the apple tree is grafted onto a specially selected root stock, the eventual size of the tree can be determined and fruiting takes place much sooner. The very dwarfing rootstock (M27) will only allow the tree to reach approx 6ft but the disadvantage is the cropping capacity is quite poor. A more successful alternative would be a semi-dwarfing rootstock, such as MM106, which can support a tree of 14ft but can produce five times more fruit on the same variety of apple than a M27 rootstock.

Supported or not

The final decision to make is whether you want the tree free standing or supported. A freestanding tree can be trained into various shapes. A bush apple tree will have an open centre and a short trunk this gives the tree an advantage as it will come into fruit early and they are easy to maintain but not very attractive as a centrepiece. A standard fruit tree, where the tree has a long trunk and a round top, is suitable where space is not restricted and high yields are important. These larger trees, however, can be difficult to maintain. Alternatively, the tree could be supported (trained) along a frame as a cordon, where a single-stemmed tree is planted at an angle and trained along a support. This is an ideal solution for growing a few varieties where space is at a premium.  Another way is an espalier, where pairs of branches on opposite sides of the trunk a trained horizontally.  Both of these trained versions of fruit trees have the advantages of high yields and are very decorative but they can take up quite a lot of space and need lots of maintainence.

Come to Lymefield Garden Centre

At Lymefield, we have lots of choice of apple, pear & other fruit trees for you to choose from. You can find a selection online at www.lymefield.com or visit us to see the trees in real life, we are open 7 days a week & have lots of expertise & advice to help you choose your fruit tree.