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Tesco fruit trees 2 for £10 - worth it

Someone posted a few years back about this and the offer is on again. I’m wondering if anyone has had any luck with Tesco trees. We have a new build garden so starting from scratch without a massive budget, but would love some fruit trees. Any tips, or recommendations for places that sell trees that are good but don’t cost the earth? 
The varieties are plum (Victoria) and apple (golden delicious, discovery, jonagold, cox’s orange). The estate developers have also planted an orchard of apple trees just over the road, although only just last year so they’ve not yielded anything yet. 
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,169
    edited January 2020
    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    So many things to think about.

    Firstly, apple trees live to be a hundred years old and more and take several years to come to any sort of maturity so they need to be chosen with care.

    With that in mind, do you see yourselves living in your present house for very long?  If not, you could plant your fruit trees in very large (very large) plastic pots and take them with you when you go.

    Now as to apple varieties. Do you like the varieties on offer? If not, then why buy them? Because they are going cheap and look like a bargain? Not if you won’t want to eat them.  Hmm.

    Now to the business of getting any apples off them at all. No apple tree is at its best living on its own. They all need a pollinating partner to do their best, an apple of a different variety that flowers at the same time. Of your choices, GD will pollinate Cox, D will pollinate GD and vice versa, D will pollinate Cox, J will pollinate D and GD and vice versa. Cox is a selfish, lazy variety. Not only will it not pollinate another tree but it needs two other varieties for it to set a decent crop.  So, if you are going to choose two trees, I would advise you to avoid Cox.

    Now as to the price. If I walked up to you in a bar and said Pssst, I have a lovely phone here, only five quid, would you be interested? I doubt it. Same with anything else. You get what you pay for.  Given that you have the option of keeping your apple trees in pots and having them for many years to come, I would fork out a bit more and buy (a) varieties that you like and (b) plants raised by professional nurseries with their reputation to look after.

    For example, I have bought apple trees from these people and they have been lovely plants.  Other nurseries are available.

    https://www.keepers-nursery.co.uk/fruit-trees/apple


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ZenjeffZenjeff Newcastle Upon Tyne Posts: 628
    I would say cheap isn’t always rubbish ,about 5 years ago a newspaper had a dwarf apple tree free just pay postage it grew really well and last year around 45 apples here in the north east really good tasting and the better half made a few apple pies ,don’t even know the variety ,I would say go for it why spend on over price trees.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,169
    edited January 2020
    A reputable nursery spends hundreds of man-hours on creating a sturdy, shapely, healthy apple tree for us to have in our gardens. There’s the growing of the rootstock, the growing of the upper part (the variety you select), the grafting, the pruning, the weeding, the fertilising, the watering, the digging up, the packing, the posting.

    I hardly think that fifteen quid is overpriced for all that care and attention.

    And you know the variety that they are sending you, too.And if they get it wrong, they send you a replacement and let you keep the original. It happened to me once.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ZenjeffZenjeff Newcastle Upon Tyne Posts: 628
    All have there own Ideas just looked at that site put a dwarf tree in the basket delivery charge £14.50 speaks for itself so £17.50 tree now costs £32.
  • This is so helpful, thank you! What would be the things to look for in sourcing good solid trees. Our local garden centres seem to not be the best quality. We’re in Worcestershire incase any locals have tips!! I know there are some websites also that are more premium but poss not actually any better quality?  
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,016
    While I would back up the good advice you have already, some  15 years ago I bought 2 dead sticks (as my daughter called them) in a bargain shop for £1 each. One Apple one Pear, I put them on my allotment & they are 2 of the most productive trees I have got. As the Allotment is rented therefore not mine it won't upset me to leave them when I eventually "retire".
    AB Still learning

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,169
    I can only speak for the places that I have bought from. Keepers, Orange Pippin and (for rare, old and unusual varieties) Bernwode. People speak well of Ashridge, though I haven’t used them myself.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,271
    Being in Worcestershire, you should have a variety of local fruit tree nurseries who could give you good advice on what varieties would grow well in your area, but if money is tight go for the Tesco's offer, our 'free' or cheap apple trees have all grown well here.  
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,233
    More senior contributors may well remember when you could buy shrubs from Woolworths. There wasn't a great variety of rare specimens but there were thousands of gardens with flourishing plants from this source. I bet some are thriving yet.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,169
    Well, I don’t buy things based on gambling. I don’t play slot machines and one armed bandits either.

    But there you go. Gamble your fiver if you want to. 
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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