realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Tag Archives: maiden tree

Maiden and Bush trees

Planting a tree. Photo courtesy of FO Littleover Parks/flickr.com

Planting a tree. Photo courtesy of FO Littleover Parks/flickr.com

Of course, we are not the only fruit tree suppliers on the market in the UK. Each supplier has their own policy as regards pricing and products. One particularly important factor in a fruit tree from a supplier is whether it is a Maiden or a Bush tree.

A Maiden is generally a tree in its first year, consisting of a single stem. For a few varieties, this may have a few initial side branches, but most will not. The buds on a maiden are mainly wood buds. So there is no chance of any fruit crop in the year after planting.

A Bush tree is a 2 to 3 year-old tree, ususally with several side branches, usually with a good number of fruit buds. Fruit buds are essential for early cropping. A bush tree is also helpful because the side branches are ready to develop into the main framework of the tree, with a “fruit table” positioned for comfortable picking. Not all fruit trees form side branches in the second year, but, if it is an apple, in any case the tree will start to produce fruit on the central stem.┬áBy nature, pears, plums and greengages always take longer to come into production . Therefore in particular with these fruit types it is wiser to start with a 2 to 3 year old tree.

The height of the tree is not a feature which encourages early cropping.

In conclusion, we would like to underline the fact that the fruit trees that we sell are Bush trees, well-developed specimens with useful side branches to encourage early cropping. This is why, with our trees, cropping usually begins the year after planting. They are sturdy, strong and healthy, with good levels of reserves in the tree structure. This helps them to resist diseases caused by the fungal spores that are always present in the air.

Other suppliers may seem to have prices lower than ours, but this is because the trees that they supply are Maidens, without all the advantages offered by Bush trees. We have specifically chosen to supply Bush trees because we feel that they offer a better deal for the purchaser.

Maiden and bush trees

When one is considering purchasing fruit trees, it is very important to know what sort of tree one can expect.
MAIDEN;
This is a 1 year old tree and needs at least 3 years before cropping can be expected.
BUSH TREE;
This is a 2 to 3 year old tree. If planted prooperly and looked after well – fed and well watered during the growing season – the apple trees will usually start cropping the year after planting.

It is for this reason that 2 to 3 year-old trees are more expensive than maidens. Bush trees of most varieties already have several side branches. The first fruits will be formed on those side branches.
If over the following years the lower branches are gradually removed then the tree is transformed in either a half standard or standard tree. Usually these trees will have formed a clear trunk of approx. 1 to 1.5 meter length.
From the early cropping point of view, the bush tree is generally most suitable.
Half standard and standard trees take longer to re-establish themselves.