Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Tag Archives: apple variety

Ellis Bitter


Planning a new orchard

Well-rotted manure

Well-rotted manure. Photo courtesy The Word Factory Ltd/

To create a successful multi fruit orchard, it is very important to carry out the various soil preparations during this time of the year. The winter months, the correct time to plant fruit trees, are often not good for soil preparation, as the soil is already too cold and handles badly. The quality of the soil in the planting hole will determine how quickly and how well the newly-planted tree settles down in its new home.

The rootstocks that you will be using depends on the space available for planting fruit trees. Dwarf rootstocks are recommended when limited space is available. If a good deal of space is available, then the trees would do best if planted on semi-vigorous stock such as MM106, Quince A and St Julien A. These trees need to be planted approximately 3.5 to 4 metres apart. The exact number of trees needed also depends on the proximity of other large trees, such as hedgerow trees, oak, ash and sycamore. Fruit trees do badly when planted on the live roots of other trees. Follow this link to find out more about tree size and rootstocks.

I think that it is a good idea to set out the orchard at this time of year, initially using 6-foot tall bamboo canes. This way you can mark the planting spots of your new trees, in relation to hedgerows, buildings etc.; it gives you an idea of how the new multi-fruit orchard will look. Variety choices can only be made once you have decided which type of fruit you want to plant. Follow this link to view a list of fruit tree varieties.

The ideal pH of the soil is 6.3 to 6.8. Outside those limits, nutritional deficiencies will occur when the trees get older. Fruit trees love well-rotted good organic stable manure, provided straw is used as a base material and not sawdust or wood chips. The more manure you can work into the ground during the summer months, the better the trees will perform in years to come.

Pitmaston Pine Apple

Pitmaston Pine Apple

Pitmaston Pine Apple. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Wright/

This is a well flavoured smallish apple particularly suited to the wetter parts of the UK. It has a high level of resistance to scab which often disfigures many varieties in areas of high rainfall. It is a small russety apple in need of good pollination. It is fairly upright and forms useful spurs. It also ripens in September and will keep in cool conditions for a couple of months. Mice love it as well!

Click here to go to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties with a provisional order

Peasgood Nonsuch

Orleanne’s Reinette

Newton Wonder




This is a relatively new apple introduced in the 1980s. A well-flavoured good green eating apple, which is ready to eat in the September/October period. It crops well and regularly. It has a good resistance to spring frosts and is therefore suitable for growing in the north of England. It doesn’t need a lot of room and is very suitable for growing in a smaller garden.

Click here to go to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties with a provisional order

Laxton Superb

Laxton Fortune