What are the best fruit trees for a Scottish garden?
How To Choose Fruit Trees For A Scottish Garden
Winter is the best time to decide on new fruit trees for your Scottish garden. A fruit tree is one of the most valuable additions that you can make to a permaculture garden and will offer immense enjoyment and likely also good yields for years to come. It can also be an integral part of a functioning and productive garden ecosystem. While you can purchase and plant fruit trees throughout the year, the cheapest way to buy a fruit tree is as a bare-root sapling over the dormant period between late autumn and spring. These can be planted whenever the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.
Planting the bare root trees is easy. Though it should be remembered that planting young fruit trees is an investment not for today but for the future. Depending on the age of the tree and the type, it may be a number of years before it bears fruit.
Today, gardeners can easily be overwhelmed by the huge variety of fruit trees on offer. Now the wealth of knowledge we have gained as a society in horticultural matters means that we understand which plants are best suited to the Scottish environment and have bred a wide selection of fruit trees better able to withstand our climate. This is why, whichever sort of fruit tree you select, it is good idea to purchase it from a nursery or garden centre that is as close as possible to where you live, as this means it is more likely to be a variety that is well adapted to the conditions of your area.
Apples are a favourite fruit tree and flourish in many Scottish gardens. There are a number of varieties ideally suited to the climate, including the eating apples, Discovery, James Grieve and Sunset and cooking apples such as Lord Derby and Newton Wonder. While there are many more varieties to choose from for many locations across Scotland, the varieties mentioned above are all suitable for frost pockets and harsher environments across the country, with frost hardy flowers – which makes them suitable where late frosts my threaten.
Pear trees, plums and cherries are also common fruit tree choices in Scotland. Hardy varieties of each of these can be found which are suitable for growth in almost all parts of Scotland. When it comes to pears, Maggie. Grey Auchan, Concorde and Conference are all said to be good varieties for Scotland. The Victoria plum, Czar and Early Rivers plum are all good eaters that can also do well in many Scottish gardens. Sour cherries are easier to grow in Scotland than their sweet cousins. If you are not sure about varieties, ask at the nursery or garden centre about the best options to grow where you live.
When choosing any fruit tree, it is important to know whether or not it is self-fertile. Sometimes, you will need more than one fruit tree to get a crop of fruit.
Whichever fruit trees you go for, make sure you choose the right options for where you live. Remember you are not limited to common edible fruits – there are a wide variety of unusual fruits and berries to try out in your Scottish garden.