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Which fruit tree for my space?


My partner has got the idea that she wants what she calls a ‘blossom tree’ on the front lawn.

Its a Victorian semi-detached house, the front lawn is south facing and gets full sun all day. Currently there’s just an overgrown hedge there blocking all the light so I’m hoping to replace that with a fruit tree. It’s a fairly narrow front garden at just under 7m wide and the tree will be directly behind the front wall overhanging the pavement somewhat, a metre or two from the drive, and about 8m from the house.

Main considerations are I want a high yield fruit I can use or give away, so I’m thinking plum, apricot or cherry. I want something that flowers as much as possible, something that won’t damage the drive, wall or house with it’s roots, and something that won’t get too tall so it’s easy to prune myself. Maybe topping out at around 3m.

I’m in the North West by the coast, so it can get a bit windy and the soil is quite sandy but I can dig in some organic material and keep it fed.

Is there anything that will suit me? I’ve noticed a lot of houses with flowering cherries on the front but nothing with fruit. Is there an issue with a fruit tree growing over the pavement?

Any advice would be appreciated.



  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,278
    Fruit trees that overhang pavements have two problems. One, they can poke out the eyes of passersby. Two, if they do produce fruit, they will be targetted by local brats.

    Fruit tree types. Plum trees sucker, so are a pain in the neck if you want a tidy flowerbed. Apricots flower during the early spring so in the north west they would need to be kept indoors at that time to ensure fruit set. Cherry trees. The pigeons will take every one. I’ve been waiting ten years to eat one entire cherry from my tree.

    Go for an apple. They come on different rootstocks that give you different sized trees. They can have white, pink or red blossoms. They are reliable producers of fruit. They are relatively simple to prune. They live for decades.

    Here is a supplier of rare and unusual varieties. You may even find one that is historically linked to your area.  I have bought from them in the past. Good people.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,963
    Second for an apple.  Get a honey crisp or kiku on a dwarf root stock.  Plenty of apples for the counter, and to make a crumble or sauce (add a rhubarb somewhere if you want some tart added).  It stays nicely compact and only needs a bit of light pruning in late winter to help it bush out or to maintain the shape.  
    Utah, USA.
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267
    Pansyface you made me laugh with your discription of fruit types .  I've two cherry tree's and every spring they are laden with blossom, you'd  think theres gonna be so many cherries, I'll be able to feed a small town ....not ☹ the blossom is killed by late frosts...the highest yield has been about 3 cherries.⁴

    Apple is a good choice 😄  I've 4 tree's with at least two ladened each year.  
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,413
    Another vote for Apple here.
    AB Still learning

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,894
    And another vote for apple

    The size of your tree is determined by the rootstock.
    Once you've decided on the variety you want have a look at this guide to select your rootstock
    For a 3m tree you'd want an M9 rootstock

    It's also worth noting that whilst some apples are self-fertile, others need a pollination partner
    Some info here-

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,717
    I've never had a plum tree sucker and I have some huge 100 year old specimens. I agree with the comments on cherries, I have 3 trees and I do get cherries, but the trees have to wear mesh bags on the branches to stop the birds.
    Have a look around at what trees your neighbours have, remember a lot of fruit trees need a pollination partner.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,989
    @Skandi :) ... I'm not surprised that huge 100 year old plum trees haven't suckered ... in my experience it's when they're heavily pruned that they're stimulated to produce suckers.  Choosing plums on an appropriate rootstock which will control the tree's size resulting in them needing little pruning is therefore important.

    In the OP's garden I would choose to plant a crab apple ... beautiful blossom, lots of fruit suitable for the OP and their neighbours to make jars of beautiful crab apple jelly.
    They don't grow too big, don't need another variety to pollinate them, and they're beautiful to look and and are wonderful for wildlife.

    Lots to choose from  here and at many online stockists

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

  • chickychicky Posts: 10,390
    edited March 2022
    Another vote for apple.  The blossom can be spectacular on a heavily fruiting variety (our Sunset is always smothered).  However you will need a compatable pollination partner somewhere near (either in a neighbours garden or your back garden) - as others have pointed out.

    Cherries, as well as feeding the pigeons, can have quite damaging root systems if planted near a house or a wall.
  • @Dovefromabove Don't know what's going on with Pomona. I ordered over £600 worth of fruit trees for my dad and the quality of what they sent out is appalling. I've only seen photos (my dad lives in Essex) so I dread to think how bad they are. Pomona seemed really co operative to start with but are now getting less so. When my dad spoke to them last week they were going to check their stock to see what they could replace and email me photos within a couple of days. Haven't heard a thing. My dad's pretty mad about it and is going to be phoning them again today 😬    
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,989
    Aaargh!  That’s awful @februarysgirl … I only used them as an example as in the past they’ve had a good reputation and the website pics are pretty good. Thanks for pointing it out! 👍 

    I hope this place is still as great as it ever was 


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

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