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1 tree that grows 5 dessert apples – Introducing Gourmet Fruit Trees

The term “family tree” usually brings to mind thoughts of ancestry and possible skeletons in the cupboard yet it also applies to a range of really exciting new Suttons products – Gourmet Fruit Trees. A family tree is the name given to a tree which has several varieties grafted onto the one trunk. Perfect for gardens where there is not enough space for several trees or for those gardeners wanting to try something a little different. Here at Suttons we have applied this technique to fruit trees and so can offer Gourmet Fruit Trees with specially chosed different gourmet varieties growing on the one tree.

To produce a family tree our nursery grows maiden trees for about 18 months and then selects those with the most suitable branch systems for grafting. Alternative varieties are then grafted onto the original tree and after about a year, during which time the grafts take and establish, you are left with a tree which has three or more varieties, all capable of producing fruit. So the production of a family tree is a fairly standard grafting process but takes a long time to get to the stage where it can be offered for sale.

To enable good strong growth, we use a semi dwarfing rootstock for family apple trees, and M26 is the most common. For pear trees, Quince A is used and for plum St Julien is the chosen rootstock. Final height depends much on pruning and growing conditions but after about 7 years the trees will have reached a height and spread of 2 to 3 metres.

The Suttons range of family gourmet fruit trees currently includes:

Gourmet Apple
Five great dessert apples on just the one tree! The base or “mother” tree is a Jonagold Apple on M26 rootstock. One branch is left as the original Jonagold, a large sweet apple with a thin skin. The other branches are grafted and are the following apple varieties:
Discovery – very crisp with a sweet, acidic flavour
James Grieve – a juicy, delicate flavour, great for eating raw and for cooking
Egremont Russet – a yellowish fruit with a nutty flavour
Braeburn – a large rich tasting apple

Gourmet Pear

Gourmet Pear
Four delicious varieties on just the one tree.
Williams Bon Chretien – great flavour and good for eating raw and for cooking
Beurre Hardy – Juicy and sweet with a hint of rosewater
Doyenne du Comice – very juicy with a buttery flavour
Conference – sweet and medium sized.

Gourmet Plum and Gage
Why just have a plum tree when you can have both plums and gages on the same trunk?
Victoria – the quintessential plum, perfect for pies, jams and crumbles
Valor – giant fruits with exquisite flavour
Opal – golden flesh with a delicious gage flavour
Gage Reine Claude d’Oullins – a very sweet gage

Gourmet Plum

 

 

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Lis

About Lis

Our Suttons Blog comes from Lis Wallace, Head of Customer Service here at Suttons since 2002. Living on the edge of Dartmoor Lis has a large and “somewhat tricky” garden split across several levels but with the bonus of a stream tumbling through and a large, fertile veg patch. Across the blog Lis will share some of the knowledge she has gained over the years from her father, from working at Suttons and also from her own trial and error. Storm the Jack Russell is bound to chip in now and then. That’s what terriers do!

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