Start here - guide to planting fruit trees

Cox's Orange Pippin, trained as a pyramid tree, from a 19th century Bunyard Nursery catalogueCox's Orange Pippin, trained as a pyramid tree, from a 19th century Bunyard Nursery catalogue

This page summarises all the information on our website which will help you to plant and care for your new fruit trees.

  1. Most fruit trees benefit from being supported at the time of planting, so start by deciding if your tree will need a post or stake - tree support advice here.
  2. Once you know if your trees need support, you are now ready to plant your new trees - planting instructions here.
  3. After planting, make sure you apply a mulch around the base of the tree, it is one of the best things you can do to help it establish, as it keeps weeds away and helps retain moisture.
  4. If you have rabbits or other rodents or deer in the vicinity you must protect your new trees immediately. These animals will strip the bark from young fruit trees and the trees will then die or fail to grow.
  5. If you are planting a 1-year old tree it will almost certainly require a one-time initial pruning straight after planting. This is extremely important, and if it is not carried out the new tree will not grow properly. See our pruning instructions for more details.
  6. Bare-root trees should be planted immediately. If this is not possible they can be heeled-in.
  7. Pot-grown trees can be kept in the containers they are supplied in for several weeks, but must eventually be planted out. If the weather is very bad pot-grown trees can be kept temporarily in a cold greenhouse or un-lit shed or garage.
  8. Never keep fruit trees indoors in a heated house.
  9. During the first spring and summer after planting pay particular attention to watering your fruit trees - watering advice here - and do not allow it to set too many fruits - thin fruitlets in June if necessary.
  10. General information on tree stakes and tree protection products.

NB. If you have any problems after planting, please contact us immediately - do not wait until May or June. Most problems can be resolved easily if caught early enough and we would rather have a false alarm than be told of problems over the summer when it is usually too late to do anything.