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  1. #1
    w33blegurl is offline Rooter
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    Default Fruit trees in pots

    Morning all!
    We are going to buy 3 "midget" fruit trees (2 apple and a pear) to keep in pots on the patio. They are described as not growing taller than 1.5-1.8m.

    My question is, what sort of size pot should I be planting them in? We have a fig tree in a 55cm (diam) pot which is about 41cm tall (sorry I have no idea how to work out the volume). This is really quite a large pot so was hoping I might get away with something a bit smaller for the trees....any ideas?Thanks!!
    If it ain't broke...fix it til it is!

  2. #2
    FB.'s Avatar
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    For a few years, a 30cm pot will be adequate, but after several years, they may need a 40-60cm pot.
    Some varieties grow much larger than others. Textbooks imply that the rootstock is the main factor in the size, but my experience says otherwise.

    To put it into context, the main rootstocks are:
    M27 - 4ft
    M9 - 6ft
    M26 - 8ft
    MM106 - 10ft
    MM111 - 13ft
    M25 - 18ft

    So, you'd think that my apple trees would grow in the following order:
    D'Arcy Spice / M25
    Saturn / MM111
    Laxton Superb / MM106
    Bramley / M26

    In fact, due to variety-specific vigour, the order of size is in reverse to what the textbooks would have you believe!
    Bramley / M26
    Laxton Superb / MM106
    Saturn / MM111
    D'Arcy Spice / M25

    Basically, what I am saying is that less vigourous varieties would allow you to grow them in smaller pots.

    Some weak-growing varieties (in alphabet order), from my experience:
    Brownlees Russet
    Court Pendu Plat
    Crawley Beauty
    D'Arcy Spice
    Discovery
    Egremonet Russet
    Fiesta
    Grenadier (cooker)
    Reverend Wilks (cooker)

    You would need to be careful in choosing correct pollination partners.
    Last edited by FB.; 08-03-2009 at 08:24 PM.

  3. #3
    JamesA is offline Seedling
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    Default

    Complex business this and a very interesting post FB!

    Ive been thinking about getting a couple of trees to grow in pots myself so have just started to try and understand all these different rootstocks etc. I also read something about pollinators too and having to get the right genetic match or something, for the best results. Started making my head hurt as it was late when i was trying to take it in!

    Any recommendations on a good pair of apple trees then FB? I have a couple of nice large pots that would look much nicer with trees in them than spuds like they have last year

  4. #4
    FB.'s Avatar
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    JamesA

    Gloucestershire is quite some distance from where I live and probably considerably higher rainfall. Powdery mildew is my biggest problem, due to low rainfall and very free-draining sandy soil, but your (wetter) area may well be more troubled by canker and scab.
    I suggest that you look for disease resistance in the following priority order:

    Number 1 problem: Canker
    (in addition to the fungus-encouraging rainfall, low-vigour rootstocks are especially susceptible to woolly aphid, which can spread or encourage canker).

    Number 2 problem: Scab

    Number 3 problem: Powdery mildew


    (Where I live, the opposite priority of disease is needed - usually, my number 1 problem is powdery mildew, due to low rainfall).

    But if you plan to spray them against disease (several times a year), then you could probably grow anything you want.


    Do you want cooking apples or eating apples?
    Do you want summer, autumn, winter or spring apples?


    Have a look around Thornhayes Nursery website:
    Fruit tree guide for Devon and South West England

    You may find their carriage costs a little high, but you may get an idea of some varieties worth growing in the West of the UK that you could source from somewhere nearer to yourself.

    A while back, I posted a topic using my own experiences of growing apples in my area:
    http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gra...ays_24437.html

  5. #5
    w33blegurl is offline Rooter
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    Thanks for that info, I cant remember what rootstock they are on but will now check it out! Think I'll start them in the smaller pots and see how we get on!
    If it ain't broke...fix it til it is!

  6. #6
    JamesA is offline Seedling
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    Default

    Thanks again FB, will have a browse of that web site and read your earlier post as i would prefer not to use sprays myself.

    I would either go for eating apples, or 1 of each maybe if thats possible. As for time of year, summer or autumn would be my preference.

    Have also just ordered a Brown Turkey fig tree as they sound pretty indestructible and good in pots. Really enjoying getting all this stuff established in the garden and seeing what i can do in a small space!

  7. #7
    FB.'s Avatar
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    Egremont Russet is a compact, hardy, disease resistant apple that fruits Sept-Nov.
    Reverend Willks is a compact and disease resistant cooker that fruits Sept-Nov and flowers (pollinates) at the same time as Egremont.

    Both E.R and R.W are partially self-fertile too.

    Both would make excellent small, potted apples. Only minimal pruning is likely to be required. I have both on M26 and they only need the occasional snip and could probably get away without any pruning, if I wasn't being fussy.

    My E.R. on M26 rootstock (twice the vigour of M27) is several years old, but only about 5ft high and 4ft wide.
    Last edited by FB.; 09-03-2009 at 12:55 PM.

  8. #8
    JamesA is offline Seedling
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    Ta for all your input FB, very useful stuff. Going to have a look around my local nursery and see what i can find or order through them to save on P&P! Will report back when i get something.

    One thing i remembered this morning is there is a very large bramley cooking apple tree in my mum and dads garden, so i probably dont need to worry about cookers!

    I also found a nice nursery web site that lets you pick variety and root stocks and tells you the pollinators, saves an endless stream of questions!

    Keepers Nursery - possibly the largest range of fruit trees and soft fruit plants in the world

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