Advice on choosing tree varieties

Fruit growing is a long term undertaking. Fruit trees, carefully chosen and suited to the climatic conditions of the area, may live and produce good fruit for the next 50 to 70 years. Our trees are raised to the highest standards of nursery care: the status of the trees is monitored every 10 days, and the composition of the foliar nutrient sprays is consequently adjusted to keep tree health as close as possible to optimum level. We think that it would be very difficult to find healthier and stronger two- or three- year old trees.

Whilst there are many on-line retailers who will just send you trees through the post, we care very much that your trees have the best chance to flourish, crop early, and for many years to come.

We think that it could be useful to make some preliminary comments on choosing fruit trees that crop regularly and produce fruit of good flavour. There are different requirements to take into consideration to achieve early and regular cropping:

1) Weather
2) Site
3) Soil
4) Pollination needs
5) Variety characteristics
6) Disease resistance
7) Rootstock

There are no apple varieties which can tick all the boxes. Knowledge of the weather patterns in the various areas of the UK is therefore essential, in order to plant the right varieties. However there are varieties which I would give a treble A rating. Groups of three varieties are best, as several varieties need good cross pollination. Some self-fertile varieties will perform without pollination, but all are improved by proper pollination. The ones I am going to single out all have fruits of excellent eating or cooking qualities. Secondly, these varieties also excel in producing fruits of long keeping quality.
However the right combination of these varieties needs to be made, according to the site and soil available in the different counties. Having said all this, I would put the following varieties at the top of my list. Anyone considering planting some apples should include at least two of these varieties, suitable to the area where you live.

Dessert apples:
Claygate Pearmain
Lord Lambourne
Suntan
Egremont Russet
Sunset
Braeburn
Fiesta
Saturn
Discovery

Cooking apples:
Bountiful
Annie Elisabeth
Lane Prince Albert
Grenadier
Bramley’s Seedling
Lord Derby

Dual purpose apples:
James Grieve
Blenheim Orange

Planting time:

It is a fact that the number of people visiting our website increases dramatically in the spring when people get out into the garden again, but the simple fact is that fruit trees are much more successful if planted in February up until early April when they are fully dormant.

In addition, geographical factors also affect the choice of trees. For example, in the northern counties, climatic conditions are substantially different compared with East Anglia. The average temperatures during the growing season are 2 to 3 degrees lower. This results in a shorter period in which the fruit has to mature and develop its full flavour. The same applies to the West Country; here the rainfall is substantially greater compared with the east of the country. Some well known varieties of apple trees are not suitable for high rainfall areas. Other apple tree varieties are very suitable and excel. We will be able to inform you which varieties will do well, when planted in a particular location.

Planting recommendations:

When you receive your orchard pack, you will find a plastic envelope labelled “DOCUMENTS ENCLOSED” that has your address slip inside. Just take out the address slip, unfold and turn it over, and you will find the planting recommendations on the back of the same sheet.

Further help on tree variety choice

If you think that your local conditions and situation requires particular consideration as regards the choice of trees, please click here to send us an email request for our Tree Conditions Questionnaire.

Contact us: dan.neuteboom@btconnect.com

Phone 01379 870759

Tree variety index

Please click on the varieties below to see a photo and description of the variety on our blog pages:

Apple varieties:

Adams Pearmain

Annie Elizabeth

Arthur Turner

Ashmead Kernel

Beauty of Bath

Blenheim Orange

Bountiful

Braeburn

Bramleys Seedling

Charles Ross

Cheddar Cross

Chiver’s Delight

Claygate Pearmain

Court Pendu Plat

Cox Orange Pippin

Cox Self Fertile

Crawley Beauty

Crispin

D’Arcy Spice

Discovery

Doctor Harvey

Duke of Devonshire

Edward VII

Egremont Russet

Ellison’s Orange

Elstar

Exeter Cross

Fiesta

Golden Delicious

Golden Noble

Granny Smith

Greensleeves

Grenadier

Herefordshire Russet

Howgate Wonder

Ingrid Marie

James Grieve

Jonagold

Jupiter

Katy

Kidds Orange Red

Lanes Prince Albert

Laxton’s Epicure

Laxton Fortune

Laxton Superb

Lord Lambourne

Newton Wonder

Norfolk Beefing

Orleans Reinette

Peasgood Nonsuch

Pinova

Pixie

Princesse

Red Falstaff

Red Pippin

Rev. W. Wilks

Rosemary Russet

Royal Gala

Saturn

Scrumptious

Scotch Dumpling

Sops in Wine

Spartan

Star Apple

St. Edmunds Russet

Sunset

Suntan

Tom Putt

Tydeman’s Late Orange

Warner’s King

Winston

Winter Wonder

Worcestor Pearmain

Cider Apple Varieties:

Camelot

Ellis Bitter

Dabinett

Kingston Black

Hereford Redstreak

Tom Putt

Pear Tree Varieties:

Beth

Beurre Hardy

Concorde

Conference

Doyenne du Comice

Invincible

Onward

Packham’s Triumph

Sensation

William Bon Cretien

Winter Nelis

Quinces:

Quince Meeches Early Prolific

Quince

Vranja

Plum trees:

Avalon

Belle de Louvain

Cambridge Gage

Coes Golden Drop

Czar

Denniston Gage

Early Laxton

Early Transparent Gage

Excalibur

Giant Prune

Herman

Jubilee

Kirkes Blue

Marjorie Seedling

Mirabelle de Nancy

Old English Gage

Opal

Ouillins Golden Gage

President

Purple Pershore

Rivers Early Prolific

Swan

Victoria

Damson Trees:

Farleigh Damson

Merryweather Damson

Shropshire Prune (damson)

Cherry Trees:

Compact Stella

Kordia

Lapins

Merton Glory

Morello

Regina

Stella

Sylvia

Summersun

Sunburst

Van

Apricots:

Early Moorpark

Golden Glow

Moorpark

Peaches:

Peregrine

Rochester

Nectarines:

Lord Napier

Medlar:

Nottingham

Figs:

Brown Turkey

Crab Apples:

Malus evereste

Malus John Downie

Malus robusta

Other Ornamental Trees:

Cobnut

Morus nigra – mulberry tree, producing edible fruit

Walnut