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Fruit Trees – Deciduous


Apple, Plum, Peach, Nectarine, Apricot, Cherries

Cultural Requirements:


  • Well drained soils – will not tolerate heavy or waterlogged soil
  • Improve soil by use of compost / peat
  • Open sunny position
  • Plant in June / July when trees are dormant
  • DO NOT let roots dry out prior to planting
  • When planting spread roots out carefully over slightly mounded soil at bottom of hole


  • Use a slow release fertiliser around roots at planting
  • When growth begins (Spring) apply General Garden Fertiliser  or Fruit Tree and Citrus Fertiliser at rates of 200g-300g per tree as a top dressing
  • Water well again after feeding


  • Ensure soil does not dry out after planting (only if a dry spell follows planting – do not overwater as root rot could result)
  • Spring – Summer water regularly to ensure plant does not dry out while establishing in its first year


  • Aim to regulate growth, allow light in, encourage flowers and fruit
  • Generally prune in Winter
  • In years 1 and 2 prune hard to make sturdy framework and shape the tree
  • When planting, select 3 or 4 strong branches and reduce by 2/3 to outwards facing bud. Remove all other growth
  • Once established, prune according to the fruiting habit as outlined below:
  • Apples
    • Bear fruit on spurs and 2 year old + laterals
    • Allow lateral branches to develop uncut until buds form
    • Then trim back about 2/3 each year
    • Thin out some if tree becomes overcrowded
  • Apricot
    • Also bear on laterals and spurs
    • Treat as for apples
  • Cherries
    • Fruit on spurs on 2 year old + wood
    • Require little pruning, apart from trimming and thinning
    • Prune in Autum
  • Peaches and Nectarines
    • Bear fruit on laterals produced previous summer
    • Laterals fruit for one season only
    • Prune to produce new laterals each year
    • Prune back to encourage new growth but don’t cut out all previous year’s growth
  • Plums
    • Bear fruit on 1 & 2 year old laterals
    • Require little pruning
    • Thin and trim back as required to maintain tree at reasonable size