Which fruit & nut trees

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Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263259 JT101
Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:13 am

Can I have some suggestions of the best small fruit and nut trees, lowest maintenance to grow

I have an allotment plot 14ft x 45ft in SE London. Get a fair amount of sunshine. Site is exposed and soil has high clay content

Site rules dictate a height of no more than about 8ft. I reckon I could get three trees on the site if staggered. Must be kept to 11-12ft diameters

I'm currently thinking almond, apricot and pear (since everyone else seems to have apple trees, and I can get my hands on the fruit easily)


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Re: Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263260 boboff
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:15 am

Trees can take an age to fruit, so you need to be in it for the long term.
Pollination types are important and you need to look around to see what others have, if you don't go down the self fertile route.
Personally I would be drawn to the most expensive fruit you eat allot of which grows on trees in the UK.
Almonds are easy to grow yourself, Apricots need shelter, best grown on a south facing wall, and need lower branches bruning to stop rain causing a mould thing (read Higher maintenance than my misses) and my experience with Pears are they are slow to establish and don't fruit very well.
Personally I wouldn't bother and get more currents and berries instead.
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Re: Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263269 Davie Crockett
Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:30 am

Get yourself trees grafted onto dwarf rootstock i.e. Apple: MM106 rootstock. these can be planted in allotments/small gardens and grow to a maximum of 10ft.

Pruning will obviously reduce this height and will probably improve the yield.

Google search for dwarf rootstock for all the varieties you would like. Beware varieties that need permanent staking as invariably these get blown over if not staked properly.

Dwarf Almonds:

As Boboff says, all fruit trees require maintainance, but then again, so do allotments and gardens. If you keep on top of it, it doesn't need to be a chore.

I planted an apple (2 year sapling) It yielded 8lbs of fruit in it's first season. Not always the case due to late frosts nipping buds etc Most saplings from reputable growers are fairly reliable.

With regard to the soil quality on your plot. double dig an area 4ft x 4ft and get a lot of organic material as deep as you can. A couple of buckets full of sharp sand will also improve drainage and soil quality. Plant your trees in winter when they are dormant.
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Re: Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263270 oldjerry
Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:50 am

All good advice(if you can get apples on M27,even better).Personally,I'd grow cherries,cos they're nice! Anyhow,you could go to the Frank P Matthews 'Trees for Life' site,press the advice bit,and loads of options should present themselves.
Lucky you ,planting fruit trees is a seriously splendid thing to do,obviously wait till the back end though.BWs.

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Re: Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263507 JT101
Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:20 am

Oldjerry, what does the back end mean?

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Re: Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263508 Green Aura
Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:52 am

One word of caution - have you checked your allotment's rules?

Some don't allow trees, shrubs etc (don't know why - because they can cause shade/root problems for other allotments? :dontknow: ). I'm guessing a lot of allotments have this in their rules but don't enforce it these days.

If others are already growing them it should be OK.

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Re: Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263510 diggernotdreamer
Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:16 pm

What about ballerina fruit trees, they only get to about 6 feet and they seem to fruit quite well, can even be grown in a large pot so you can always take them with you if you give up your allotment. I think you can get a cherry on pixie rootstock which is very small. A family apple tree is good as you can have several sorts of apple on one tree. You would have to make sure they were well watered in pots. I have very heavy clay soil here and have bought bare rooted trees and planted them into lorry tyres so the roots are above the ground and then filled in with soil and mulch etc. Walcot nursery have a good selection of organic trees selected for disease resistance. Best wishes Digger

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Re: Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263513 Odsox
Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:00 pm

JT101 wrote:Oldjerry, what does the back end mean?

Winter ... the back end of the year. :iconbiggrin:

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: Which fruit & nut trees

Post: #263514 GeorgeSalt
Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:13 pm

JT101 wrote:I'm currently thinking almond, apricot and pear (since everyone else seems to have apple trees, and I can get my hands on the fruit easily)

Plant pears for your heirs was the old saying, although modern trees are quicker to establish.

With the right rootstock, apples and plums would get my vote as trees - picking varietries carefully to cover the uses you can't get from those you can already source. Pruned to the commercial flat-top shape both to keep within the 8' rule and for easy picking.

However, I'd recommend going the soft fruit route that's been suggested - soft fruit being generally very expensive to buy (certainly in comparison to apples and pears). Currants, gooseberries, blueberries, grapevines etc. Smaller plants, quicker to establish and easier to store fruit - and mostly fairly easy to propogate to build-up the numbers of plants. Perhaps a standard trained fig?
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