Fruit trees on the allotment

Fruit trees on your plot

An allotment is a great place to grow fruit trees, there is often more space than you might have in your garden, as well as the opportunity to share experiences with other plot holders. However, height is an issue and you must ensure that you do not shade neighbouring plots. To avoid this keep your fruit trees less than 6ft-7ft (under 2m). Dwarf fruit trees are the ideal choice for the allotment. Most fruit trees are grafted on rootstocks, so choose low-vigour or dwarfing rootstocks, which will keep the height down and allow you to grow more fruit in a smaller area.

Apple rootstocks – The M27 rootstock is by far the best choice for allotment apple trees M9 is a possibility, and is very productive but it can get much taller than M27. The semi-dwarf M26 and semi-vigorous MM106 are likely to be too vigorous for allotment apple trees, except when used for fan-trained trees.

Pear rootstocks – The Quince C rootstock, which is roughly equivalent to the apple M9 rootstock, is the best choice. Others are too vigorous to be suitable.

Plum rootstocks – Pixy, or the even more dwarfing VVA1 are the best choices for allotment plum trees. The semi-vigorous St. Julien A is useful if you want a large fan-trained plum.

Cherries – the only sensible choice is the Gisela 5 rootstock. This can still produce a tree of 10ft / 3m in a short space of time (young cherry trees grow quite rapidly) so fan-training is a good idea

You could also consider “step over” fruit trees.¬†These are the very smallest of all fruit trees, at scarcely 18-24″ in height, these are basically one-tier espaliers grown on a miniature rootstock. Ideal for edging a border, or dividing the vegetable/flower garden, crops aren’t heavy by normal standards but the fruits can be quite large and these trees make a pretty and novel effect in the garden especially when in blossom.¬†Increasingly popular, virtually all varieties of apple, pear, plum and gage can be found as stepovers.

 


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