Focus on Fruit

We all know that fruit is good for us and a garden can host an array of fruit plants that give both nutritional value and ornamental pleasure with beautiful blossom and the structure of Fan and Espallier training. The months of September, October and November officially constitute autumn and it is during this time that most perennial fruiting plants put effort into establishing a good root system. Planting in the autumn will give roots time to settle into the ground, anchoring the plant against strong winds. Fruits are very diverse and fall into one of 5 main categories:

Soft Fruit: Strawberries and fruits that do not have a thick skin

Cane Fruit: Raspberries, blackberries, and hybrids such as loganberry, boysenberry and tayberry.

Bush fruit: Gooseberries and Currants can be grown on neutral soils. Blueberries like acid conditions and will grow bigger, better fruit with a suitable pollinator.

Top Fruit: Apples, Pears and Quinces are grown on different root stocks that control how quickly they grow and the eventual height of the tree. They can improve disease resistance. Most frequently used Apple rootstocks are:

MM106 – the taller of the semi-dwarf growing to approximately 4 metres (12-15ft) tall – suitable for most gardens

M26 – the smaller of the semi-dwarfing rootstocks that grow to approximately 3m (10ft) tall – suitable for most gardens

M9 – dwarf but productive rootstock that is used commercially to grow apples but needs permanent staking. Approx 2.5m (8ft) tall

M27 – the very dwarf 2m (6ft) which needs a good soil

Pears are usually found on semi-vigorous Quince A rootstock or the dwarf Quince C.

Stone fruit: Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, Gages, Damsons and Cherries. These fruit trees are also influenced by their rootstocks, with the main reason being to control vigour or dwarfing:

Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, gages, damsons grown on the semi-vigorous “St Julian A” rootstock will be suitable for bush, half-standard and fan-trained use up to 3-4m (10-12ft) tall. The smaller Pixy and VVA-1 rootstocks are suitable for bush and container grown plants.

Cherries are controlled by the dwarf Gisela 5 or semi-vigorous Colt to achieve bush, pyramids, half standard or fans.

We have a large range of fruit trees available but if you require a specific variety or type of rootstock, please let us know and we can try and source it for you. Satisfy the gatherer-instinct in you by growing fruit!


Roger Eavis