A successfully designed orchard can last for generations, look stunning, provide fruit and a vitally important natural habitat to boot.
At Edibleculture we have the experience to give your orchard a firm foundation. Contact Us!
Our Orchard Design Process –
- Site survey and Consultation – Orchard design starts with measuring and looking at the site, establishing tree size and desired look. Formal, spaced or naturalistic..
- Soil testing – A comprehensive soil test will be carried out, which will outline nutrient deficiencies, soil structure and PH.
- Planning and Design – We have planted 1 or 2 (and the rest) orchards in our time, but each project is different. We plot trees according to rootstock size and desired appearance, on a clear and informative plan.
- Tree variety selection and planting – We have access to a large range of fruit tree varieties grown in British nurseries (at cheaper prices than most tree centres) to a very high standard of environmental awareness. We select trees to provide a long fruiting period, great taste and easy to grow habit. We also plant with longevity in mind, applying our knowledge in soil preparation using products like Mychorizzal fungi. Also using Kent grown coppice tree stakes and adjustable ties.
- Maintenance – We don’t just walk away once the orchard is set up, the foundation of a thriving orchard is pruning, the establishment of preventative pest/disease control structures and reacting to environmental issues like drought. We take care to visit your orchard on defined days to prune and check.
We are the only company to use Kentish Coppice posts as a standard for orchard installation, we only use UK trees, we use chemical free pest control and we offer clear advice about what varieties are prone to disease.
Orchard Design Resources
We follow English Nature Community Orchards Guide. A really excellent guide to a new orchard project.
Fruit trees - why bare-root?
What is a bareroot fruit tree? A bareroot fruit tree is dormant in the winter.. A bare root tree is field grown and has a hardiness that lends it self to being planted back in your growing space.. A bareroot tree tends to be 20% cheaper than potted.
Most growers wait until it is suitably cold to successfully ‘lift” a tree, the general rule is that the tree (or soft fruit) is devoid of leaves. The grower will then cold store the tree if the temperature is fluctuating above the magic 8 degrees, the most important element of keeping the tree alive is keeping the roots damp.. I will talk through this in a bit.. In the growers world this is usually achieved by ‘heeling in’ the tree.
So a bareroot fruit tree is only available in the winter.. The tree is stocky and generally cheaper.
In our helpsheet we illustrated the range of rootstocks available, certain stocks I would not buy bare rooted
like the very dwarfing M27 apple and G5 Cherry. they lack the vigour to withstand the ‘lifting’ process. The lifting process removes the majority of fibrous roots emanating from the tap root, in trees with higher vigour they can quickly recover from this once they start growing.
Key factors we consider when advising about what trees to buy..
- How big you want the tree to grow? – You don’t want a tree to crowd a garden, grow up against a building or block a path..
- How much space you have? – Referencing above – you don’t want to many trees in confined space.. maybe trained trees would work in say a narrow garden?
- How much fruit you want? – A flood of fruit may be more of a hindrance than a positive! We can spread the production over a season with different varieties.
- Can the tree can be pollinated? – Some trees need specific pollinators, go self fertile or create a orchard of supporting trees!
- What’s your soil condition like? – Some stocks hate heavy soils, a dwarfing tree will sulk in heavy conditions.
- Is the site exposed? – Some trees hate salty or high winds.
I would recommend the excellent RHS Website for the basic facts.
To sum things up –
Advantage of bareroot tree – cheaper, wider choice of varieties, trees send to be more chunky and resilient.
Disadvantage of bare root tree – Don’t always look that good as a gift devoid of pot, tree has re-grow fibrous root system.
bare root fruit trees
With each new orchard or fruit tree planted, we offer a tailor made maintenance package for the first, second and third years and beyond! We can offer a clear yearly maintenance contract that will ensure your orchard establishes correctly and ensure the longevity of your trees.
Contact us for an informal consultation.