Autumn 2021We are selling out of many of the trees already this season. Please order as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Orange Pippin Trees UK logo

Planting new fruit trees in old holes


Asked by: Denis  from Durham, 05-Jan-2020

Can I plant into ground that I have just removed old diseased trees from?


It is best not to plant a new trees in the hole from a previous old fruit tree as the new tree may be affected by "replant syndrome", which stops it establishing and growing away properly. Basically the old tree will have attracted a colony of soil organisms, pathogens, and fungal infections with which it is has been co-existing for many years. These will initially overwhelm the new young tree.

This replant problem is a particular issue for apple trees (including cider and crab-apple trees) when planted in the same location as a previous apple tree. It does not seem quite as harmful for stone fruit, and an apple following a stone fruit tree or vice versa is also not quite as difficult.

If you have no choice but to plant in the same location then dig out a 1m diameter area around the old planting hole, and replenish the soil in the hole with fresh soil from an undisturbed area elsewhere in your garden.