Grown in the heart of East Sussex

Tree Care

By caring for your tree you will have a productive tree which will be less prone to pest and diseases that often attack when a tree is stressed.  If you need assistance please contact Sussex Fruit Trees for helpful advice or quote to carry out any work.

1 Watering
2 Weed Control
3 Feeding
4 Staking
5 Pruning
6 Fruit Thinning
7 Pest & Disease Inspection


Water well at time of planting.
Water (2 large watering cans) every week during growing season for first couple of years.
Water frequently during dry periods.
May need to water more often if your tree is planted next to a fence or wall.

Weed Control

Keep a minimum of 50cm radius weed and grass free all year round.
Mulching – aids in weed control, conserves water loss and may provide nutrients.
Place a 10cm deep layer of garden compost, leaf mould, gravel, spun fibre or well rotted animal manure around tree, but keep away from direct contact with the trunk.


If soil is well prepared before planting this should not be really required. However, many urban gardens have poor soil, so feeding will be required. You can choose organic options, such as seaweed, manure pellets or inorganic options which are chemicals, such as Vitax. Potassium is required for fruit.
Apply fertiliser on the surface around the tree in Spring.
Apply foliar sprays during growing season.


Your tree will be staked for at least the first five years or longer (see planting guide). Trees grow surprisingly quickly, so check that the tie and label are not cutting in to the trunk. Many trees die from poor staking.


Select the form of tree you want and prune accordingly. You are pruning to create a healthy tree and promote fruit generation. Sussex Fruit Trees can provide a pruning service and advice.

Simple tips:

Assess the tree first, ask yourself what needs doing?
Prune on a dry day, when it’s not going to be frosty.
Use sharp & clean tools.
Do not remove too much.
Remove and dead or diseased branches at time of identification.
Remove branches that cross.
Cut to an outward facing bud.
Prune apple and pears in winter, unless pruning shaped trees.
Prune young plum, gage and cherry trees in late spring.
Prune mature plum, gage and cherry trees in summer.

Fruit Thinning

In the first few years remove blossom to stop fruit generation, to encourage all the energy of the tree going towards vegetative growth.
Remove some of the young fruit on each cluster as they develop.

Allows fruit left on the tree to develop into better fruit.
Reduces stress on the tree.
Reduces large numbers of small deformed fruits which are prone to disease.
Promotes air circulation.
Stops branches being over loaded and breaking.

Pest & Diseases

Frequent observation of your tree to identify pests and diseases, caught early many problems can be sorted out. This inspection is a time to enjoy your tree and garden not a chore.

Look at the leaves – look for aphids & caterpillars and remove, leaf colour differences may indicate disease or nutrient deficiency respond accordingly.
Look at the fruit – look for rot, splits, spots and deformations, all indicate problems.
Look at the bark – abnormalities may indicate diseases, for example, canker and phytophthora.