How to grow fruit in the UK | pruning fruit trees | apple, pear, plum, cherry, apricot, peach, nectarine, sweet chestnut, walnut, crab apple, cob nut, medlar, black mulberry, quince and many more
How to grow fruit in the UK
This website provides extensive information on how to grow fruit in the UK, including pruning fruit trees, thinning, fruit tree pest control, planting fruit trees, training fruit trees as espalier, fan, cordon or stepover, and much more.
Fruit trees – essential activities in June 2020
Pests in June
This time of the year, after weeks of dry and warm weather conditions, aphids can be a problem. On cherry trees there are black aphids, on apple trees there may be rosy aphids that are curling up the leaves. On plum trees, the effect of leaf-curling aphids is very noticeable. In addition, woolly aphids are very active, particularly on older trees. The warm weather has influenced the speed of development of these pests to a great degree. Whichever method of control is used, it is important not to kill the natural predators such as ladybirds and lacewings. Check the products available in your garden centre to control these pests.
This is also the right time to place pheromone traps for codling moth and plum moth. This will give you an indication of the build-up of these fruit-damaging insects. As far as caterpillars are concerned, you can hang rolled-up lengths of corrugated cardboard in your fruit trees. Caterpillars will use them for shelter. Remove and replace the cardboard as necessary.
Many fruit trees have been damaged by spring frosts earlier on in the blossom stage. Therefore fruit thinning may not be necessary. If this is not the case, on apple trees it is important to reduce the clusters of young fruitlets to just two fruits per cluster. Pears and cherries do not need to be thinned. Plums and peaches do.
Watch a video tutorial on how to thin apples.
After such a long period of dry weather in many areas, young trees in particular may be short of moisture. Apply water when appropriate.
If you are planning to plant fruit trees when dormancy starts in late November, now is the time to start preparing the sites where the trees are going to be planted. It would be a good idea to order the trees now.
How to start a garden orchard
In this website, you will find knowledge regarding the principal factors to consider for a garden orchard. Here they are in summary:
- Find a suitable site for growing fruit trees. It should be free from spring frost and hail, and should be reasonably sheltered. Read more about the ideal site for growing fruit trees.
- Check that the soil is suitable for growing fruit trees. It should be moisture retentive, rich in organic matter, and well drained. Read more about the soil for growing fruit trees.
- Protect the trees from deer, rabbits, mice, badgers and other animals. A tree guard is a simple and very effective way of protecting a fruit tree. Watch a video tutorial on how to plant a fruit tree.
- Have access to water in drought periods. Regular watering is essential for newly-planted trees in spring and summer, and for all trees when rain is scarce. Read more about weather effects on fruit trees.
- Control pests and diseases when necessary. Many problems can be solved without chemicals, by optimizing the action of natural predators. It is well worth visiting your trees regularly so that you can see the onset of any problems early on. Click here for our interactive tree care index.
- Have a means of storing fruit once picked. Read our tips on when to harvest, how to store fruit, ethylene filters, and how to ripen pears.
Trees in trouble
Sometimes, you may run into fruit tree problems. Perhaps you want to know how to prune an apple tree. Or a tree may have stopped growing, its leaves may have discoloured or curled up, or perhaps it simply doesn’t produce much fruit. Just contact Dan Neuteboom by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by using this web form, describing the fruit tree problem. Specify your location (fruit trees are site specific, and site visits are possible depending on your location), and include some photos if possible.
The videos published on this website illustrate the critical stages of fruit development, from the period from blossom to fruit formation, in a chronological sequence throughout the year. Click here to see the videos currently available.
Fruit trees and climate change
What contribution can we all make to combat climate change? Every day we are hearing that planting trees is one of the factors that can help combat climate change. In the UK the latest government manifesto includes a commitment to planting 15 million trees over the next 5 years.
But we can all make positive contributions that help slow down climate change. Apart from limiting use of fossil fuels, we can plant trees in our own garden if we have one. Read the article about trees and climate change.
Video channel – videos in which Dan Neuteboom explains many aspects of fruit growing, providing tips on pruning, thinning, pollination, grafting and more. With camera work by John Paddy.
Planning a garden orchard
Index of fruit tree varieties – from Adams Pearmain to Worcester
How to choose which apple varieties to plant
How to choose the best site for fruit trees
Rootstocks and tree size
How to buy fruit trees
Growing fruit trees
- Apple sawfly
- Apple scab
- Apple splitting
- Apricot dieback
- Armillaria honey fungus
- Bacterial canker
- Bird damage
- Bitter pit
- Boot lace fungus
- Brown rot
- Canker on apple trees
- Canker on plums, greengages, damson
- Capsid bugs
- Cherry blackfly
- Cherry fruit drop
- Cherry splitting
- Codling moth
- Collar rot
- Greenfly on apples and pears
- Ivy on fruit trees
- Mealy aphid on plums, greengages, damson
- Mildew on apples
- Peach leaf curl disease
- Pear canker
- Pear leaf blister mite
- Pear midge
- Pear scab
- Pear virus
- Pigeon damage on plum trees
- Plum moth
- Plum sawfly
- Red spider on apricots
- Silver leaf on plums
- Woolly aphid
Natural and eco-sustainable solutions:
Fruit growing year – a month-by-month list of tasks in a garden orchard
- January fruit tree care tips
- February fruit tree care tips
- March fruit tree care tips
- April fruit tree care tips
- May fruit tree care tips
- June fruit tree care tips
- July fruit tree care tips
- August fruit tree care tips
- September fruit tree care tips
- October fruit tree care tips
- November fruit tree care tips
- December fruit tree care tips
- How to train free-standing fruit trees
- How to train espalier fruit trees
- How to train fan-shaped fruit trees
- How to train cordon fruit trees
- How to train stepover fruit trees
- How to train apricots as fan-shaped trees
- How to prune apple trees
- How to prune espalier apple trees
- How to prune pear trees
- How to prune espalier pear trees
- How to prune plum trees
- How to prune fig trees
- How to prune cherry trees
- How to prune apricot trees
- How to prune espalier apricot trees
- How to prune mulberry trees
- How to prune crab apple trees
- How to prune quince trees
- How to prune medlar trees
- How to prune walnut trees
- Radical pruning for restoring old trees
- How to grow cherries
- How to grow greengages
- How to grow hazelnuts
- How to grow medlars
- How to grow quince trees
- How to grow apricots
- How to grow fig trees
Trees in trouble – web form with which you can ask Dan for his advice about fruit tree problems
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