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Best fruit trees to give as a present

Fruit trees make ideal presents for friends or relatives, and are also popular as retirement presents. Being long-lived they will hopefully serve as an ongoing reminder to the recipient of your thoughtfulness.

However some fruit trees are better than others. The most important thing is that the tree should be reliable, low-maintenance, and disease-resistant. It is also helpful if the variety is self-fertile - so that the recipient doesn't need to find another one to pollinate it.

If this is going to be a surprise gift it helps if it is pot-grown rather than bare-root, and all the trees in this list are usually available in this format. This means it can be safely planted any time from September through to March or April.

  • 1st Apple trees - Red Windsor

    See also Red Windsor

    Red Windsor is our recommended choice if you want to give someone an apple tree as a gift.

    It is self-fertile, and it grows reliably in most parts of the UK - although you should encourage the lucky recipient to find a sunny spot if possible.

    It produces apples from an early age, and they have a crisp flesh and pleasant sweet/sharp flavour which most people will like.

    We usually stock Red Windsor trees in a range of different mature sizes, from very small to large, so you should be able to choose the right one for any size of garden,

    Buy Red Windsor mid-season eating apples here
  • 2nd Apple trees - Katy

    See also Katy

    Katy is an attractive and versatile early-season apple. It makes a great present because it is so reliable and fool-proof. It will grow in almost any situation and being from Sweden it is not bothered by cold weather.

    The pretty red apples are borne in abundance in late August and early September, and very versatile. They can be eaten fresh, but they also have enough acidity to be useful in apple tarts and crumbles. Katy apple juice is also superb.

    A note of caution ... Katy is not self-fertile, but in most areas there will be other apple trees nearby which will take care of it. Katy is an excellent pollinator of other apple trees too.

    Buy Katy early-season eating apples here
  • 2nd Pear trees - Conference

    See also Conference

    If you want to give a pear tree as a gift then Conference is perhaps the best choice. It has an excellent flavour, and crucially, is very easy to grow.

    Conference is self-fertile, so you won't need another pear tree nearby to produce fruit. It is also a reliable cropper throughout most of the UK, although like all pears it will do best if you plant it in a sheltered sunny spot.

    As an extra bonus, the spring blossom is also very attractive.

    Buy Conference dessert pears here
  • 3rd Pear trees - Williams

    See also Williams

    Williams is another great choice if you want to give a traditional pear tree as a present. It is reasonably self-fertile, and very productive, and ripens in late August or early September.

    We also usually have Sensation, which is a modern form of Williams with a pretty red skin.

    Williams is also known as Bartlett in many other countries.

    Buy Williams dessert pears here
  • 5th Cherry trees - Stardust

    See also Stardust

    Cherries are perhaps not the first choice if you want to give someone a fruit tree as a present - they need a sunny climate, and you invariably have to protect them against birds. However, for someone who has always wanted their own cherry tree Stardust is a good choice.

    Stardust is self-fertile, and productive from an early age. The cherries are an attractive golden red flush, and have an excellent sweet flavour - eaten straight from the tree they are a real delight.

    It is best to choose a dwarf cherry tree, as this makes it easier to cover with a net in the summer, to keep the birds away!

    Buy Stardust sweet cherries here