Victoria Plum Tree (Prunus Domestica Victoria)

Best time to plant:Late winter – early spring.

Best place to plant:A sheltered, sunny spot with well-drained soil.

Pruning: Victoria Plums can be pruned anytime from late spring to the end of summer—avoid pruning in winter as plums are vulnerable at this time to infection by bacterial canker and silver leaf disease.

This tree needs very little pruning; thin out some of the older branches, along with any damaged growth. Its large crops of fruit can cause branches to snap.

Prevent this from happening by snipping off some of the plums when half-sized, leaving the remaining fruit 10cm apart.

Best time to pick:Mid-July

Taste:Soft, sweet and juicy

Popular uses:Can be devoured straight from the tree once ripe, as well as being perfect forjams and preserves.


Braeburn Apple Tree (Malus Domestica Braeburn)

Best time to plant:Late winter – early spring.

Best place to plant: A sheltered, sunny spot with well-drained soil.

Best time to pick: Early October.

Taste: Spicy-sweet flavour with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Popular uses: Perfect to eat straight from the tree or as part of a salad; also excellent in pies.



Conference Pear Tree Pyrus Communis Conference

Best time to plant: Late winter – early spring.

Best place to plant: A sunny, sheltered spot with well-drained soil.

Best time to pick: End of September – early October.

Taste: Grainy, sweet and juicy.

Popular uses:Poached whole, roasted, served with cheese boards, added to salads or eaten raw.


Planting advice for plum, apple and pear trees

Dig a hole in your garden that’s no deeper than the roots, but three times the diameter of the root system – spread out the roots on the ground as a guide before digging.

Place the tree in the centre of the hole and backfill with soil. Gently bounce the tree up and down to eliminate any air pockets. When the hole is filled, firm the soil gently with the back of your heel.

Prick the sides and base of the hole with a fork to enable roots to penetrate.

Keep a 1.2m circle around the base of the tree free of weeds and grass.


Pruning advice for apple and pear trees

The initial pruning of younger trees is to encourage a strong, solid framework. This should be done when the apple or pear tree is dormant, usually between November and early March.

For a healthy, fruit-bearing tree it is best to get rid of:

  • Downward-growing branches.
  • Competing leaders (competing branches that spoil the shape and balance of the tree).
  • Suckers (when a root sends up a new stem away from the main stem).
  • Rubbing or crossing branches.
  • Diseased, dying or dead branches.

The aim is to create an open goblet shape with a framework of about five main branches.