Planting fruit trees is an important decision. The fundamental point to remember is that it is essential to start fruit growing with a healthy tree. How do you know whether the trees are healthy and of the right type/rootstock, suitable for your garden or wall/fence? How to buy bare root fruit trees, or fruit trees in containers, requires just a few important points to follow.
As a general rule do not buy miserable, thin little trees – often a risk when purchasing online. This will give you pain and trouble at a later stage. The minimum height of a healthy fruit tree is approx. 5 feet. Make sure it has a nice lot of healthy side branches. Do not buy a fruit tree without a proper label, stating the name of the tree, the rootstock and the name of the supplier. Without this information you are courting disaster!
Buy virus-free trees
If the tree is bought from a reputable nursery, where virus-free material is the basic source, you can be sure that the tree you are buying has no hidden diseases. A cure at a later stage is unlikely to be practical or available.
Purchase trees from outlets/garden centres where the trees are well looked after. The health status of the tree is of paramount importance. Not the price of the tree.
Why to buy and plant fruit trees
- Plant a tree for life. A tree is a great companion to have. It can be small or as tall as you want. Trees are great as they clean the air we breathe, and create beauty wherever you live or work. But most of all, they supply the oxygen used by everything that lives, and absorb the CO2 – the greenhouse gas we have too much of in the air – using it as their food to create energy. If chosen correctly and given the proper care, most trees live longer than humans. Yew trees can live a thousand years, oak trees can live to over 800, walnut trees can live for 400 years. There is a tree for every space. There is a tree to fit even the smallest location. If it is a fruit tree, you will be able to enjoy the unbeatable flavour of your own freshly-picked fruit.
- Grow your own fruit! In the future, it is likely that cash will get shorter, food costs will continue to rise, as will the cost of petrol and diesel. Fortunately, for many people there are options to consider, to do something about the family’s cost of food. What’s more it is a pleasant, healthy and exciting undertaking; GROW YOUR OWN! There is nothing better and tastier that growing your own fruit and vegetables. You can trust your own fruit to be free from chemicals, pesticides and fungicides. Plant a few trees and you will also provide an important message for children, that fruit does not grow in supermarkets.
- It’s easier than you think. In my experience Nature is very forgiving. As long as the will is there and an effort is made, the food in the form of fresh tasty produce will be appear from your garden, allotment or patio, sooner than you think. People in the UK are in a very fortunate position. A multitude of garden centres, friends and neighbours are only too pleased to help you to get started to make much better use of your garden, allotment or any piece of ground to start growing your own food. And at a low cost.
- It costs less than you would imagine. Sound second-hand tools are available from car boot sales and charity shops. Second-hand book shops can supply you with additional information on how to grow your fruit and vegetables. Just plant and sow at the right time of the year, go to your plot at least once a week and you will be amazed how nature provides to all who are trying.
- It encourages biodiversity. Trees all over the globe are the homes of many creatures, which breathe the same air and drink the same water as humans do. All those creatures communicate not only with others of the same species, but with all that lives and surrounds them. Just because we as humans have voices, it does not give us the right to dominate life in all its forms on the planet. Instead we will all be better off respecting each other and trying to understand what makes other creatures tick. For that reason I believe that Schumacher was right when he said “small is beautiful”. Click to watch a video about ladybirds, a fruit grower’s best friend.
- It is educational for children. I believe that there is much more we can do close to our homes, to ensure our children will find a world worth living in and giving them the chance to admire all that is alive around them.