Planting Cherries, Plums, and Greengages

The most exciting thing we’ve planted so far, I think, are the fruit trees. We put in a Stella cherry (on Gisela 5 rootstock), and a Victoria plum and a Cambridge Gage greengage (both on Pixy).

The three trees

All three trees are on dwarfing rootstocks, so that we can squeeze them into our plot and still have room to grow other things as well. They should reach about 2.5m in height, and needed to be planted at least 2.5m apart. We’ve given them a 2.5m x 7.5m strip at the top of the plot.

The spot they’re in isn’t the sunniest at the moment: we’re on a north-facing slope, so the hedge at the top of the plot tends to cast a shadow over the top half of the plot. However, we’re expecting things to be better when Winter is over and the sun is higher in the sky. Cutting the hedge as low as we can should help too.

The two year old Stella cherry tree

To plant them, first we enriched the soil in the general area with a couple of slow-release fertilisers like hoof and horn and fish, blood, and bone. As the roots expand, they’ll get to this soil, but not just yet.

Then we dug a planting hole large enough to take the tree’s roots unencumbered, and added some more readily available nutrients, mostly in the form of manure.

We tried to plant the tree carefully, spreading the roots and getting the enriched soil in amongst them, but that’s easier to say than it is to do. Hopefully it’ll be all right.

The thought that I’m clinging to is that even the clumsy care that our trees are getting is much more than is natural, so hopefully is much more than is necessary, but it may take months or years to find out.

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