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Thread: taking the fruit tree plunge

  1. #17
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    Regarding dwarf trees, you say you're in 'north London' but is it clay or sandy soil? A friend in NW London is on sticky clay but says that the Hampstead Heath area has light sandy soil and indeed rhododendrons flourish there. Soilscapes seems to have soil maps of all the country.

    FWIW, I'm on a good soil and M9 and quince C produce very good-sized trees. On a thinner soil, they wouldn't and you could do with stronger rootstocks.

  2. #18
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    Over the last few months there have been frequent articles saying we should only be buying "British/UK" grown trees. Reason - to reduce spread of viruses into the UK.


    If the devastation to larch trees in D&G is anything to go by, would be good advice.

  3. #19
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    Hereford - it's solid solid clay - I've made thumb pots and the like out of the yellow clay less than a foot down.

    Four shoes - good information - I didn't even know many were imported.

  4. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford fruit grower View Post
    Regarding dwarf trees.....I'm on a good soil and M9 and quince C produce very good-sized trees. On a thinner soil, they wouldn't and you could do with stronger rootstocks.
    I'm on shallow sandy-gravelly-chalky loam in the driest part of the UK and here it's tough for most plants to even stay alive - even the weeds!
    Dwarfs or semi-dwarfs don't do well at all, the trees barely grow even if heavily fed and watered, tend to be much more prone to diseases and the fruit tends to be crab-apple size and/or full of bitter pit and/or drops off long before it is ripe.

    Apples M27, M9, M26, M116 and MM106 are all too weak, as are pear Quince A or C, and plum Pixy or St.Julien.
    Apple MM111 and M25, pear seedling and Pyrodwarf, and plum Brompton behave like dwarfs would in good soil and reach about 8ft (2.5m) in ten years for average-vigour varieties.

    I also have a few young apple trees which I grafted onto B118 for experimental purposes along with some trees I've managed to get going on their own roots, some of which show promise as vigorous rootstocks.
    .

  5. #21
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    On my soil, quince C pear trees are roughly as large as Pyrodwarf trees on FB's soil, i.e. ~2.5 m after 8 years.

    My guess, and only a guess, is that on your clay soil trees will grow much larger than on FB's soil but smaller than on mine. So quince C is out of the question; M9 might be too.

    Clay soils are very fertile though after 130 years of gardening on them; individual soil particles have a massive surface are, so long as roots can get to them. The friend I referred to in NW London says that apple trees grow fairly large. He planted two new replacement trees in 2017-18 and I think they were on M26 rootstock. Your soil probably hasn't been cultivated for 130 years though so won't be as good.

  6. #22
    bikermike is offline Cropper
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    Well, I've extracted digit and spoken to a local nursery.

    "Quince C rootstock and are classed as Dwarf trees reaching a height of between 2.5m and 3m tall after about 10 years"

    Would the panel agree with that as "dwarf"?

  7. #23
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    In the context of a mature pear tree, which on its own roots can be easily 80' high - then yes.

  8. #24
    bikermike is offline Cropper
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    Thanks Nick.

    I shall check with the allotment powers that be, but that means I am at least not wasting my time.

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