Growing and Caring for Fruit 2

The introduction of container grown fruit trees and shrubs and the availability of dwarf varieties of apple, pear and cherry has meant that every gardener can now successfully grow most fruits in their own back gardens.

Not all fruit is easy to grow and careful consideration should be given to the types and varieties suitable for your own location and conditions before making a final decision. The Gardening Register hope that the following information will help you produce a wide variety of fruit in your garden.

Buying Fruit Trees

Always buy your fruit trees from a reputable supplier. If you are confident in pruning then buy a one year old maiden whip. This has no laterals so will be cheap but you will need to train it yourself and it will be about three years before it produces a successful tree.

Two and three year old trees have a basic framework to work with but will cost you more. Avoid buying trees older than four years as they can be hard to establish.

Bare rooted trees will have to be planted in the autumn. When buying you are looking for a tree with good strong, evenly spaced branches without open buds. The main stem should be straight and the union strong and free from cracks. Roots should be well developed and spreading out in all directions. Remove any suckers growing from the rootstock.

Container grown trees can be planted at any time. Growth should be strong and free of pests or disease. The main stem should be straight and the union strong and free from cracks. Roots should not be growing through the base or side of the pot and the surface of the soil should be clear of weeds and roots.

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2 thoughts on “Growing and Caring for Fruit

  • Val McClean

    Hi there, I hope you can advise me ok. My daughter has had a cherry tree in her garden for awhile now & it always produces beautiful cherries. However she said that when she bought it she read that it should not be pruned or cut back, however it has now grown vert tall & broad & really does need to be cut back some. Will this affect the cherries from growing & if not how would you suggest pruning it etc., I fo hopecyou can help & I look forward to your acknowledgement at your earliest opportunity. Thank you.

    Kind regards,


  • Linda Peppin

    Hello Valerie,

    First I must apologise profusely for the long delay in getting back to you. I have only just seen your comment which had been hidden away in the Spam folder. I hope I can still be useful.

    Cherry Trees produce their fruit on the previous year’s growth so to ensure you get cherries the following year you should leave this year’s growth (with should be softer and more flexible than older wood) and prune back all the old wood to whatever length you want. If the tree is really getting out of hand, and your daughter doesn’t mind not having fruit for a year, she can prune back the whole tree without causing any long-term damage. You never know, she may still get some fruit if the tree isn’t pruned too hard.

    Pruning should take place from late July to the end of August so I’m afraid you’ve missed this year’s window, However, in Spring, once the buds have appeared, she could trim off the ends of each branch being careful not to damage any of the buds lower down, then do a full prune in August.

    I hope this helps and, again, sorry for not replying sooner.