This page is about fruit trees in the garden but also in the main park. 

Why?

Lots of people have suggested planting fruit trees. We love them for their blossom, shade, support for wildlife, and even for their fruit.

We are nervous about planting lots of trees in the main bowling green because of the odd soil but are more confident that we can put some trained ones between the benches around the tarmac path, probably in the borders that are wider and also sunnier. Some of these areas haven't been accessible while the contractors' work was underway and until the fencing and bed edging is complete.

  • Suggestions for fruit trees (excuse the spelling): almond, apples (Blenheim orange, Captain Kidd, Crown Gold, Discovery, Ellison's orange, Elstar, Pixie, Pitmarston's Pineapple, Rosemary russet, other russets, Tydeman's early worcester, William Crump, Worcester pearmain), apricot, blackthorn (for sloes), cherry, fig, 'nuts', pear (conference), plums (damsons, greengages, Victoria), quince. An ornamental elder (Black Beauty/Gerda - review by James Wong). Some of these will grow well trained and others (quince, figs, apricots maybe) resist training and grow better as standards. 

Plans:

  • In early 2016, we planted a small crabapple tree donated by a community garden in Nottingham, probably grown from a pip.
  • In January 2017, we re-homed a small container-grown fig tree in the main bowling green area. This seemed to be doing well but the growing tips were badly frosted and it hasn't recovered yet - this tells us that this kind of tree probably won't do well in this relatively un-protected area.
  • In early 2017, we aimed to plant a James Grieve (Scottish, dual, flowers in early May, pick in early September, doesn't store well; webpage) apple tree (M106 rootstock) in the bowling green area, as part of the Cambridge Community Collection (public art project). This was our favourite, from 17 types (starting with J) that we were offered. We have postponed planting this tree until later in 2017, partly because the Council is having problems finding it! If the tree arrives and thrives, we will think about hosting more of these.

In the main park

We have eight new apple trees in the main park (diagram of where they are) from the Cambridge Community Collection (website), which is a public art commission by Neville Gabie for Cambridge City Council:

  • By the car park: Jonathan (US origin, group 3, dual use, flowers in mid-May, pick in early October; webpage). In June 2017, this tree was vandalised and we don't know if it will be replaced.
  • Either side of the peripheral path at the Fendon Way end:
    • Kenneth (Welsh, dessert, flowers in mid-May, pick in mid October; webpage);
    • Kilkenny pearmain (Irish, dessert, flowers in mid-May, pick in September; webpage);
    • Kemp (Irish, dual, early, flowers in mid-May, pick in late August; webpage);
    • Malling Kent (UK, cooking, flowers in mid-May, pick in mid October; webpage);
    • Keed's cottage (UK, group 2, cooking, flowers early May, pick in late September; webpage);
    • Keswick Codlin (UK origin, Group 2, cooking, flowers in early May, pick in mid August; webpage);
    • Kerry Pippin (Irish, group 2, dessert, flowers in early May, fruits in late August; webpage).

Useful links

  • Labels for the trees (have photos of the fruit).
  • City Council - Trees for babies scheme - we could probably host two or four apple or pear trees from this scheme in the garden during the Autumn/winter planting season: 2017-2018. They would need to be suitable for the rather limited space we have and also ones that the volunteers like the sound of (appropriate rootstock, tasty, attractive and disease resistant under organic growing conditions). You could also propose that they are planted in other local public spaces including the park - the tree officer would need to decide on their suitability and location. Contact us if you would be interested (we will be planning for trees around August/September 2017).

Last updated 16 June 2017