Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

LIZ POT­TER Ed­i­tor, Gar­den Answers A key to growing fruit trees is the tree’s root­stock. They come in var­i­ous sizes – look for ones la­belled M27 or M9. Self-fer­tile trees pro­duce fruit with­out the need for an­other tree to pol­li­nate it. If your tree is not self-fer­tile it will need to be paired with an­other. Look for well-de­vel­oped, fi­brous roots. For con­tainer-grown trees, check that roots aren’t con­gested and choose younger trees (up to three years), which es­tab­lish quicker. Soak the roots be­fore plant­ing. Bare-root trees can be planted late au­tumn to early winter, when the tree is in its dor­mant stage, but don’t plant if there’s a frost. Con­tainer-grown trees can be planted at any time of year ex­cept when frosty. Place your tree in a sunny and shel­tered po­si­tion. Dig a hole a third wider than the roots and to the same depth as the roots, firm­ing the bot­tom of the hole into a slight mound. In­sert the stake and your tree. Fill with soil and mound to­wards the base of the tree, at­tach­ing it to the stake. To make use of lim­ited space, train the tree along a south-fac­ing wall. This gives more ripen­ing time as the wall soaks up heat.

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