Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

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JMcElroy
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Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by JMcElroy »

I have a medium sized garden and am hoping to plant a couple of "food" trees to block off the neighbours top floor bedroom windows overlooking it.

I have some apple trees planted, however am wondering what else I could add in. I was hoping for a tree that is:
Evergreen
10-12' approx height
Will withstand Irish Weather

Any suggestions would be great.
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Mo
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by Mo »

The height will depend on the rootstock it is grafted on. Can't think of an evergreen fruit tree. Damson would probably do OK, It's fine in the NW of England. Different sorts are available and different rootstocks
There are other plums, all worth growing. Probably best to get advice from a local orchard owner or nurseryman (not garden centre, someone who actually grows them) about what does well in your area. Victoria, Czar, Cambridge Gage. Damson doesnt need a pollinator. More info on pollinators.
Or Conference pear is reliable and can be grown alone (without needing a pollinator) though I believe it is better if another sort of pear is grown nearby
RHS advises on various plants
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Mo
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by Mo »

What varieties of apple have you planted?
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lancashire lass
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by lancashire lass »

I agree with Mo - I don't know of any "food" trees that are evergreen.

Funny enough, all the trees I planted in my garden was to enjoy privacy. I have a hazel tree which not only grows fast but in late winter, produces catkins if that helps. The tree is so mature now that when I cut some branches right back from the base (nice long poles I can use in the garden), it has little impact on the rest of the tree. And of course, who doesn't like hazelnuts?

Another fast growing tree is elder. I lop mine right back (about a couple of feet above the soil) every 2-3 years and within a year it grows back with a vengeance, and in the second year is heavy with flowers (for elderflower wines and cordials) and berries (for wine and making syrup for hot drinks) The trick is to harvest the flowers from the top so it makes it easier to harvest the berries on the lower branches in autumn after a summer's growth. I have about 5 elders which have merged in with the neighbour's privet hedge - I don't cut them all down in the same season so there's always a couple of trees that are productive. The trees also have a wide spread as well as height. They do lose all the leaves in autumn and have wide spaces between branches so perhaps not so good for privacy as such but will still provide some feature (and bear in mind that in winter, days are shorter and most people close their curtains when they switch the lights on. You can always put net curtains up which are effective during the day)
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by JMcElroy »

Hazelnut trees were something I was looking at. Nurseries here won't stock them until late November. But I was considering maybe two or three of these. What type/s do you have?

Net curtains - its actually the neighbours window (house beside us) looking into our garden. So not directly into our house at all. I have a nosy neighbour and I don't want her checking out what I am growing or doing with my chickens in the back garden. She was snitching on people during the house arrests, so that raised a few alarm bells for me. ;-)
Last edited by JMcElroy on 10 Sep 2020, 18:19, edited 2 times in total.
JMcElroy
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

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Mo wrote:The height will depend on the rootstock it is grafted on. Can't think of an evergreen fruit tree. Damson would probably do OK, It's fine in the NW of England. Different sorts are available and different rootstocks
There are other plums, all worth growing. Probably best to get advice from a local orchard owner or nurseryman (not garden centre, someone who actually grows them) about what does well in your area. Victoria, Czar, Cambridge Gage. Damson doesnt need a pollinator. More info on pollinators.
Or Conference pear is reliable and can be grown alone (without needing a pollinator) though I believe it is better if another sort of pear is grown nearby
RHS advises on various plants


Thank you so much. I have been looking at the Victoria Plum. Just wasn't sure which one would be best. I will look at the Conference Pear too - I have room for two/three trees.
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by JMcElroy »

Mo wrote:What varieties of apple have you planted?


Jonagold and Elstar as far as I remember.
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by JMcElroy »

lancashire lass wrote:I agree with Mo - I don't know of any "food" trees that are evergreen.

Funny enough, all the trees I planted in my garden was to enjoy privacy. I have a hazel tree which not only grows fast but in late winter, produces catkins if that helps. The tree is so mature now that when I cut some branches right back from the base (nice long poles I can use in the garden), it has little impact on the rest of the tree. And of course, who doesn't like hazelnuts?

Another fast growing tree is elder. I lop mine right back (about a couple of feet above the soil) every 2-3 years and within a year it grows back with a vengeance, and in the second year is heavy with flowers (for elderflower wines and cordials) and berries (for wine and making syrup for hot drinks) The trick is to harvest the flowers from the top so it makes it easier to harvest the berries on the lower branches in autumn after a summer's growth. I have about 5 elders which have merged in with the neighbour's privet hedge - I don't cut them all down in the same season so there's always a couple of trees that are productive. The trees also have a wide spread as well as height. They do lose all the leaves in autumn and have wide spaces between branches so perhaps not so good for privacy as such but will still provide some feature (and bear in mind that in winter, days are shorter and most people close their curtains when they switch the lights on. You can always put net curtains up which are effective during the day)


Hazelnut trees were something I was looking at. Nurseries here won't stock them until late November. But I was considering maybe two or three of these. What type/s do you have?

Net curtains - its actually the neighbours window (house beside us) looking into our garden. So not directly into our house at all. I have a nosy neighbour and I don't want her checking out what I am growing or doing with my chickens in the back garden. She was snitching on people during the house arrests, so that raised a few alarm bells for me. ;-)
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by fabindia »

We have a plum tree at our new house. It isn't that big but produces loads of plums, far too many to eat. Plum pie, plum crumb and plum chutney have all been on the menu plus giving loads away.

We have apples in old garden (our daughter lives there now so I do a bit of gardening there). Apples are easy enough to look after and again will give more than you can use. We also have pears though I do find these trickier than apples and take longer to mature to fruiting trees than apples.

On the subject of hazel trees, I have found that they grow well enough and fast enough but personally, I have found the yield quite small.
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Mo
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by Mo »

I think the squirrels get ours, and bury them for winter judging by the seedlings springing up
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JMcElroy
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by JMcElroy »

Thank you all. Lots to consider. I will do some further research.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by lancashire lass »

fabindia wrote:On the subject of hazel trees, I have found that they grow well enough and fast enough but personally, I have found the yield quite small.


Mo wrote:I think the squirrels get ours, and bury them for winter judging by the seedlings springing up


Yes, I have a squirrel who only visits the garden at precisely the time the hazels are just ready - he must have a territory he goes round and then crosses the front street, climbs the fence and does a tightrope impression until he reaches the privet hedge and then appears at the bottom of the garden and straight up the tree. And I also get lots of seedlings too but I think some of those may be a combination with wind and birds tossing them when they are searching under fallen fruit and leaves.

As for yield, I think that depends on the maturity of the tree (as well as size - my tree is easily 20+ ft tall) because it took a while to build up over the years. Now I don't need to compete with the squirrel providing I time my harvest carefully (here from about mid-August to early September)
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Mo
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by Mo »

My squirrel (I think) eats low and fallen fruit. The front door was open yesterday and he took no notice of me as he sauntered past. I guess that's why the low pears have teeth marks.
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JMcElroy
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by JMcElroy »

Would you perhaps know what type of Hazel Tree you have?
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lancashire lass
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Re: Best Food Trees for Medium Garden

Post by lancashire lass »

JMcElroy wrote:Would you perhaps know what type of Hazel Tree you have?


sorry - mine was purchased bare rooted from Wilkos (back in 2003) The nuts are slightly smaller than the commercial ones you see in supermarkets round about Christmas time
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