Fruit growing is a fun, rewarding activity that pays off for decades, both for the grower and the planet.
A fruit tree is actually two trees grafted into one; the top part of the tree is your apple (or plum, pear etc.) variety and the bottom part is the rootstock. The rootstock controls how big the tree is, for apples they are all named M with a number, for example a common dwarf rootstock is M9, and a moderately vigorous rootstock is MM106. The fruit of a particular variety tastes the same whatever the rootstock.
Planting Fruit Trees
Pruning Fruit Trees
This can either be very complicated or simple, if you want a perfect shaped tree then you need to prune it carefully every year to train the tree shape you want. Alternately if you want a tree shaped tree then you can leave your tree to grow and then tidy it up after 3 or 4 years. This gives you 3 years to find out how to prune a mature fruit tree. This technique works better for some varieties than others, choose an easy-care variety. The same goes for disease control some varieties are naturally disease resistant, grow these unless you want to spend your summer spraying your trees.
Fruit trees usually need a different variety of the same species of fruit to pollinate each other. This means that you need 2 varieties of apples, pears etc. to ensure you get fruit. Some trees are self-fertile, that means they can pollinate themselves. If you are only planning to grow one variety of apple, pear etc. then make sure it is self-fertile