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Can anyone tell me what the best time is to plant apple trees in the UK? These trees will be on a trellis and will be spread wide not high.

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Doesn't matter whether you're fan training, espalier or cordon growing, the best time for planting trees in the UK is September or October. If they're container grown plants, you can plant at other times, like February or March, if the ground is neither waterlogged nor frozen, but you will need to pay careful attention to watering during the first and second year, especially the first summer.

UPDATE

As requested, I'll expand the answer. In the UK, the soil is still warm up to end of October, but the heat of summer is well past and we're usually pretty wet during autumn, which is why autumn planting is recommended for long term, woody specimens such as trees and shrubs. The weather here supplies sufficient moisture during autumn and winter, and because the soil is still warm, roots settle in quicker. Bare root trees and shrubs are best planted October, not September, through to early November at the latest, for similar reasons, though the timing varies somewhat depending on which part of the UK - in the south, planting is best in October, in the North, September.

  • Already in September? I was thinking in autumn, but just after falling leaves (so dormant plant). But so I never really understood why autumn is much better then late winter. Could you expand the answer. It is in any case one of the most important topic (IMO). – Giacomo Catenazzi Jan 30 '17 at 8:23
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    @GiacomoCatenazzi see expanded answer, but I mentioned September because the person does not live in the southern part of the UK. Here in the South, September planting isn't great, its usually very dry here during that month, often into October as well, now, because of climate change. – Bamboo Jan 30 '17 at 12:47
  • Sorry, that should say 'might not' live in the southern part... – Bamboo Jan 30 '17 at 12:58

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