Fruit trees and berries
Our recommendation for organic gardeners
What one has to take into consideration when choosing a fruit tree or a berry for their organic garden is that the chosen species must be resistant and suitable for extensive farming. You can therefore chose from three different groups: traditional Hungarian local cultivars, resistant species from other countries and resistant modern cultivars created by plant-breeding.
Fruit trees spring 2017
You can preorder the saplings from our online shop (currently we only ship within the borders of Hungary and from spring 2017 to Romania) from January and as soon as the temperature of the soil makes it possible we notify you about the time and place of transfer.
1. Barna and Son Kft. is one of our most important partners. They have raised traditional Hungarian local cultivars for years and currently their nursery is the only organic certified in Hungary. It is important to note that the primary aspect of selection for us not how ancient, or how Hungarian a cultivar, not even how unique its fruits’ taste but how resistant that particular cultivar is. For this reason our online shop does not carry the full selection of Barna and Son Kft. We only offer the most resistant cultivars. You can, of course, order other cultivars directly from Barna and Son Kft., then receive it at one of our transfer points.
2. Our modern resistant cultivars arrive from another nursery. These cultivars were bred especially for organic farming. Most of them were created for the western-European organic farms and hobby gardens. The biggest breakthrough was undoubtedly done in plum-breeding. In Hungary, more and more plum trees suffer and die from virus infection, so the ability to resist plum pox (also known as sharka) has become a priority. You can also order such specialities as phytoplasma resistant Siberian apricot, or chestnut blight resistant sweet chestnut.
3. Our berries arrive in container and can be planted immediately. Once again we attempted to balance quality, productivity and hardiness.
- resistant dessert grapes
- low acidity currants
- Powdery mildew resistant gooseberries
- cold-resistant figs and kiwis
The principles of planting a fruit tree...
The planting of a fruit tree is the biggest responsibility in a garden. A tree is a crucial point in any garden. Its scale determines its shade, its breed determines its utilisation and treatments, its species determines the species of other trees. You can’t change trees like an annual flower bed. You should always keep in mind that without sunshine you cannot raise healthy fruit trees or healthy vegetables. If it is always in shade you cannot expect a normal growth rate or harvest. Some berries (e.g. raspberry) or leaf vegetables (e.g. salads) can be grown among such conditions, but other species only suffer. The level of the ground water is also an important question. Where the tree’s roots easily reach it, where the altitude is low, the soil is damp and hard you can only raise apples or pears. If you have a sandy soil which easily looses water, you can only raise cherries, tart cherries, plums and apricots and even then you have to water them during the first few years. The frost can also cause problems. There are many species in the Carpathian Basin which can be easily damaged by frost, for example the almond, the apricot, or such Mediterranean novelties as fig, kiwi, banana...
Novelties in 2017
From 2017 we offer many fruit trees in containers, which means that you can sample their harvest as soon as next year. These are a little more expensive than our usual fruit trees but considering the cost until those become productive, fruit trees in containers are worth their price. From this year you can order local Hungarian cultivars with dwarf rootstock. The dwarf rootstocks do not live as long and not as resistant as the wild rootstocks, but become productive much sooner. Their size is also considerably smaller than the wild rootstocks’ which makes them ideal for smaller gardens. So the same local Hungarian cultivars require smaller space and become productive sooner. However, these rootstocks also make the trees more sensitive, you have to interfere with biological plant protection more times, and you cannot expect the same lifespan as from the wild rootstocks.
Fruit trees’ space requirements
As a guideline I would offer the following space requirements for an adult tree:
- Apples and pears on wild rootstock’s crowns reach 4-5m diameter
- Apples and pears on medium clone-rootstock’s crowns reach 3-4m
- Apples and pears on dwarf rootstock’s crowns reach 2-3m
- Cherries’ crowns reach 5-6m
- Tart cherries’ crowns reach 3-4m
- Apricots’ crowns reach 3-5m
- Peaches’ and almonds’ crowns reach 2-3m
The wild range is due to the fact that there are always unique cultivars so you should always look up the final scale of your chosen tree! I review the planting and care of fruit trees in other articles based on their species. Motto: you should not buy a tree only to cut it down a few years later!