Autumn is the perfect time for planting and is a great time to add a fruit tree to your garden. The soil is still warm and the new trees will have time to become established before winter sets in.
Some fruit tree varieties are self-fertile, others will need a second tree to cross pollinate. In built up areas, there will usually be trees close enough to provide pollen but if you live in a rural area you may well need to plant a second tree – ask in the Garden Centre for advice.
Some fruit trees on certain rootstocks may require a permanent stake, others will just need a temporary one. Again, it’s best to ask in the Garden Centre when you purchase your tree. A permanent stake is driven into the ground before you plant your tree whilst a temporary one is driven in after planting at a 45 degree angle so as not to disturb the roots. Stakes should be inserted on the side of the prevailing wind so the tree is blown away from the stake.
Choose a sunny, sheltered position and dig a hole no deeper than the pot but up to three times wider. If the sides or base of the planting hole are really hard, break up the soil with a fork before planting. Place the tree in the planting hole and carefully refill, eliminating any air pockets. Firm the soil gently by stepping on it and remember to keep your tree well watered whilst it gets established.