Tree Fruit - Pests and Tips

Problems with fruit have to be the most frustrating problems of all, fruit are the whole point of the exercise and if you can't get any, then there's no point in giving the tree space in the first place. These are some of the commonest ailments that might affect a fruit tree along with tips to aid your crop.


Q. Which tree fruits should I grow?

A. OK it seems simple, but what do you or your family like to eat? What is available plentifully locally or from your friends and neighbors and what does hardly anybody grow? Grow what you like and only that. If you never make apple pies, then don't grow cooking apples, if you love plums (like I do) then grow plum trees. If you have moved into a property with too many of what you don't want - like I have with 3 poor quality apple trees - then think about removing them and growing what you do like instead, fruit or not. There's far too many of some types of fruits grown without thinking about it. My neighbor has a huge old pear tree which produces piles of cooking pears - who cooks with pears or preserves them any more? He certainly doesn't, but he does look after and frequently prunes his pear tree (badly).

It is better to get trees for domestic use on the most dwarfing rootstock that you can. Many varieties don't keep too well and proper storage takes extra time and effort that most people won't put in. You may think you'll give the apples away to grateful and receptive friends and neighbors, but it rarely works out like that. Last year a neighbor I'm on the briefest of nodding terms with came to the door gleefully bearing a large bag of apples I didn't have the heart to tell him that we already have three over productive trees of our own (to soon be "rationalised"). A small tree will provide plenty of apples for an average family, the same goes for other fruits too.

If in doubt buy a plum tree, I've never thrown plums onto the compost heap in the way I have apples.

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