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Multi Variety Fruit Trees

Hi I am new to growing any kind of fruit trees and would love advice on the following:

Has anyone got a multi variety fruit tree in their garden, ive seen these forsale, where you get 5 varieties of apples on the one tree! my question is are these any good and do they bare much fruit and are they long lasting for years?

Any advice/tips would be very much appreciated.

thanks Barbara



  • I have not grown these myself but I have heard from others that unfortunately unless the cultivars are very carefully chosen then the more vigorous ones tend to dominate & take over the whole tree. If you have space go for individual cordons or espaliers or even step over cordons.

    AB Still learning

  • I agree with Iain, unless you have a really limited space go for espalier or cordons.

    I feel that the multi fruit trees, which are also called family trees are somewhat of a gimic only useful if you just have a small space even then the most vigorous spur will dominate.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,872

    There was a 'family tree' of three apple varieties at my last place of work ... I was given the responsibility of looking after it ... it was indeed very difficult to prune to keep the tree balanced as one branch was much more vigorous than the other two.  After I'd been retired a couple of years I revisited the site and the large branch had broken off  and torn away from the main trunk and the remainder of the tree didn't look very happy ......... I wouldn't grow one from choice. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks Iain, Chrissy and Dove, Now that you have said that it makes total sense, yes ive plenty of room so I will go for individual trees.

    Thanks again for your help x

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,872

    I love espaliered fruit trees ... we have an espalier Concorde pear as a 'fence' alongside the part of our terrace where we sit for meals in the summer ... if we had a large garden I'd grow a fence of assorted apples and pears around a veg/fruit garden image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Ummm Dove you have given me a great idea, for a fence around a piece of ground I planning for a veg patch, a fence done in this way would be so lovely, thanks for the idea! image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,872

    image  Oooh photos from time to time to show us how it's coming along please image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • If you can get a look at a copy of the RHS encyclopedia of Gardening under fruit growing it shows a plan for what it calls a small fruit garden.  at 12 x 28ft it's not that small but the arrangement of fences and fruit trees on them will give you some good ideas.

    AB Still learning

  • Iain where do you get the RHS encyclopedia at? Is it online? Sounds like a plan & dove I will definitely put up some pics, thanks again folks for you advice x

  • Sorry its one of those old fashioned things - a big book,  not very expensive (£35) lots of good info & advice on all aspects for new & experienced gardeners alike. Published by Dorling Kindersly my edition is the 2010 one there is a new 2012 version it was first published 20 years ago. Do you have a library anywhere near you?  You might find a second hand copy online or in a charity shop.


    AB Still learning

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