We have all but lost many types and varieties of fruit tree over the last 50 years or so. We've worked hard with our suppliers to make some rare and interesting trees available again. You'll find some hard to come by and historic fruit trees for sale here; iron age cherry trees, quaint sounding perry pears and odd looking medlars. There is a good range of more traditional heritage fruit varieties too, harking back to at least Victorian times.
Apple trees are a whole different ball game, and foundherein their own section.
Value For Wildlife
Many of these trees are highly ornamental and, of course, a tremendous resource for nature. Fruit trees are an invaluable source of spring forage for bees in particular, but also provide a great (and increasingly rare) habitat for a wide range of wildlife and associated flora. This is partly because of their life span; they don't last long, and their dead or dying wood provides a home for some of our most intriguing creatures and fungi.
Delicious To Eat
They're also very helpful for the keen cook, of course. Just because a variety has gone out of fashion doesn't mean it wasn't super delicious. 'Victoria'" dominated UK plum production a hundred years ago not because it tasted great off the tree; it yields a fantastic amount of fruit and makes lovely jam, at a time when that's what was wanted. In the meantime their close relations, gages, were largely ignored - despite their fruit tasting fantastic when eaten fresh. Other fruit has a long history in the kitchen; quince and medlar were immensely popular among the Elizabethans, for example - and for good reason!
The Plants We Sell
You'll find five different types of Prunus in this section; cherries, plums, gages, damsons and bullace. There are also crab apples, mulberry bushes, medlars and quince as well as both eating and perry pears. Most of the cultivars we stock are old heritage varieties and are only grown in small numbers, but we try to offer them on more than one rootstock where we can.
We source our fruit trees from several specialist traditional nurseries in the UK, so they are all British grown and - we hope! - high quality. There aren't many fruit tree nurseries left here, and we think it's important to support them and the varieties they sell.
All our fruit trees are grown in the UK and sourced from small family run nurseries. Most of these plants are supplied bare root, between November and end March. Typically we sell them as small "maiden" or bush plants, although if you wanted something bigger please ask and we might well be able to help. Ask too if you're after an unusual fruit tree which we don't list and we'll see if we can find it or persuade someone to grow it for you. We donate half of our profits from fruit tree sales to Common Ground.