Our Small Farm

A Traditional Severn Vale Orchard

The Orchard The trees on this page are Bramleys on M25 rootstocks.

What types of tree are there?

Apple Trees are grown on a number of root stocks which determine the eventual size of the tree. These are the most common:


For most situations and forms. Will reach 4-5m (12-15ft) Most apple varieties are available on this rootstock.


Similar to MM106 but more vigorous, up to 4.5-5.5m (15-18ft).


Vigorous, reaching 5-6.5m (15?-20?). Suitable for standards.


Semi dwarfing, reaching 2.5-3.5m (8-10ft). Ideal for smaller gardens. A few varieties available on this rootstock.


Dwarfing, to 2-2.5m (7-8ft).Good soil and staking required.

"Traditional fruit orchards are vanishing from England's landscape - with serious consequences for wildlife, conservationists have warned." BBC Website April 2009.

They provide a good habitat for wildlife because they are subject to low intensity management, with few or no chemicals used, and the trees are allowed to reach a stage where they are hollowed and gnarled.

What is a traditional Orchard? Traditional orchards are characterised by widely spaced standard fruit trees, with stocking density normally less than 150 trees per hectare (ie roughly at least 30 foot spacing).

Why are traditional Orchards important? The National Trust estimates that 60% of these wild life rich habitats, once so common have been lost since the last war. Those that remain offer a valuable refuge for endangered animals, birds, insects & plants, if actively and sympathetically managed.

How long do apple trees live? Standard trees will last between 80 and 100 years. This is why some of ours are now dying.

Is mistletoe harmful to trees? No, although very heavy clumps can burden the tree in strong winds. The Severn Vale is a stronghold of this ancient plant which provides food for birds.