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family fruit trees

vic14vic14 Posts: 82
Hi all. Ive orderd a family apple and a family pear tree. I just wondered if anyone else has them if they could offer advice. The dos and donts. And whether youre pleased with them. When mine arrive they will be planted into large pots. Any particular type of compost to use? Thanks in advance
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  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,269

    Hello vic14.

    I have a family apple tree planted 4 yrs in the ground. It's now getting on for 10ft high and 4ft wide (despite annual pruning). This is the first year we've had a good crop from one side - an apple called Elstar. The other side, is Golden Delicious which has hardly cropped at all, despite getting slightly more sun. Staking is recommended all its life, which I didn't do and now the two halves are leaning outwards, away from each other and I suspect will pull apart soon and let diseases in.  I'm not sure they will do well in a large pot, as apples need an awful lot of water. Do you know what rootstock they are on?

    I don't think I would get one again but wish you every success with yours.

     

  • vic14vic14 Posts: 82
    Thanks for your reply the apple root stock is mm106 im not sure what that means though to be honest. Im quite new to gardening so im just giving different things a try. image
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,269

    Hi Vic,

     

    Rootstock MM106 is a rootstock for making dwarf apple trees - not as small as MM9, but good nevertheless so may be okay in a large pot as long as you keep it well watered (a couple of gallons a day in hot weather)  and well fed. I would use a slow release granuler fertiliser pellet such as Miracle Gro, which you can just stick in the compost in the Spring and then forget about it for 6 months.  When you plant the trees in the pots, put them in John Innes No.3 or Hillier's Shrub & Tree compost which are a bit beefier than ordinary multi purpose composts. They will need to stand in a sunny spot, but are perfectly hardy and will cope with winter cold/wet, although to be on the safe side, in their first winter, I would be inclined to put them in a sheltered spot if you've got one.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,164
    I have just received my first ever family fruit tree, a pear consisting of Conference, Concorde and Comice. I got it from Orange Pippin, who are a good company. I planted it into the garden. It's quite tall and thin to put in a pot - I could imagine it would blow over quite easily.



    I bought it to replace a Williams pear which had not been double worked and which snapped off in the recent high winds while it was still young. Williams pears, I now know, are not compatible with quince rootstocks and they have to be grafted twice. You live and learn.



    I couldn't decide on which variety to buy as a replacement and the family tree is the result of indecision and compromise. It shows. Even at two years old the Conference is clearly going to be the lead dog in the pack. I am going to have to keep my eye on it to make sure that it doesn't take over.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • vic14vic14 Posts: 82
    Thanks both. Lucky for me my patio at the bottom of the garden is very sunny and fairly sheltered. I think the pear ive ordered is quince a rootstock. I just hope as long as i look after them properly that i will see some fruit.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    I have a family apple and a family pear, both about 5 years old now.  The apple does very well and all 3 varieties crop.  The pear doesn't do so well (pear rust is a constant battle) but pears are much slower growing trees anyway.  It's very important to prune them properly for the first few years (winter pruning to promote strong growth - prune the weakest growing grafted varieties the hardest) and then you can switch to summer pruning to keep them to your preferred shape and dimensions which will also encourage fruiting side shoots (spurs.)

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • vic14vic14 Posts: 82
    Thankyou bob. I cant wait for them to arrive so i can get started!
  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 378

    A colleague of mine is getting married at the end of the month and we are thinking of getting him a family fruit tree as he is a keen gardener. However I am not sure what would be the fruit to get. Was thinking of an apple one but have seen that you can get cherry ones and is tempted to recommend that we get him such a one. What are peoples experience of these trees and what is the best kind of root stock to buy them on? I think a dwarfing one would be good as they might move in the near future. 

    Any recommendations on verities and suppliers would be very welcome.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,164

    PEOPLE WHO PRODUCE FAMILY TREES CHOOSE COMPATIBLE ROOTSTOCKS IF THEY HAVE ANY CREDIBILITY. BUY FROM A REPUTABLE COMPANY AND YOU WILL BE OK.

    AS TO WHICH TYPE OF FRUIT, WHAT DO THEY LIKE?

    THAT SAID, I LIVE IN DERBYSHIRE AND THE CLIMATE IS TOO COLD REALLY FOR PEARS. CHERRIES JUST GET EATEN BY THE BIRDS UNLESS YOU DRAPE THE TREE IN NETTING AND IT SITS IN THE GARDEN LOOKING LIKE MISS HAVISHAM ALL SUMMER.

    I WOULD GO FOR APPLES, UNLESS YOUR COLLEAGUE HATES THEM.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 378

    Thank you. They currently live in Stroud From memory I think he tends to eat apples in the office so apples would be fine.

    The reason I was thinking of cherries was that they are more of an expensive fruit but the vision of Miss Haversham in the garden is not a good one so I think I will suggest we get a nice apple one.

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