Tree Ideas For Allotments

Many of us now are lucky enough to have an allotment garden where we can grow a plethora of fresh vegetables and soft fruit. Allotment planting doesn’t have to be limited to veg and soft fruit. Growing heavy crops of tree fruits such as apples, pears, quince, cherries and plums on an allotment is also a popular idea and very doable with the right knowledge.

Firstly many allotments will have restrictions to the height of trees that are permitted on the allotments. This is for several reasons mainly trees casting shade on other peoples (and your own) plot and tree roots taking up the nutrients available on the plots. The restrictions may vary so it’s vital to check. These restrictions do limit you, however there is still a large choice in different shapes and sizes as detailed below;

Trained trees

Choose a fruit tree that is ready trained to plant against a fence or the side of a shed on the allotment. Straining wires can also be put in place to train these along. Choose from cordons, pillars, espaliers, step-overs, fans and U cordons for a small fruit tree that will produce plenty of fruit, take up minimal space and be aesthetically pleasing. We recommend our range of patio cordon apple trees that are naturally columnar, produce an abundance of apples and grow to around 2 metres in height.

Dwarf fruit trees

All fruit trees can be grown on dwarfing rootstocks although some will stay smaller than others. Depending on your allotment limitations you could choose to grow a dwarf apple or pear, which will generally stay smaller than cherries and plums. To see our range of smaller fruits trees, visit the patio fruit trees section. For more information on rootstocks and final heights see the size guide on each individual variety and/or view ‘Fruit tree rootstocks explained’


Pollination for fruit trees on an allotment should be satisfactory. Take a look around, you will need at least one other apple, pear, plum etc. in a different variety to provide a pollination partner. If there is a fruiting apple at the other end of the allotment then rest assured that your apple should have no pollination problems. If there are no fruit trees within a half mile radius then consider planting more that one variety or a self fertile variety. For more on pollination see ‘Fruit Tree Pollination Explained‘.

At Ornamental Tree Nurseries we grow apple trees that can be planted at an angle as a cordon or upright as a pillar that have two varieties on one tree. This means that the tree is self fertile and you will get two different types of apple from a small compact plant. These dual cordons can be seen here.

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