Many view the growing of fruit on trees as a romantic journey back through time, with childhood memories of long summer days in traditional orchards, bursting with blossom or ripening fruit, and wonderful scents and smells filling the air, depending on the time of year. Home made desserts and fresh fruit picked from the tree and eaten immediately only add to this nostalgic scene. Growing tree fruit is certainly a challenge however, with many wild creatures and insects sharing our fondness for the crop, and so many contributing factors to consider; soil preparation for these long term crops, tree shape and form, rootstocks, pollination requirements, pruning techniques, types, varieties and cultivars (from traditional apple to exotic fig and many in between) and general care and protection.

However, the blossom, the scent and ultimately the harvest is the reward for persevering with the many crops encompassed by this heading, and makes all the effort worthwhile!

Taking into account the above parameters, where does one start…?