Fruit and Nut
Welcome to fruitandnut.ie.
Fruit and Nut is an independent horticultural research establishment based in the west of Ireland. The research is primarily focused on food security issues, particularly those to do with global warming, and the potential of tree crops in cool temperate climates. Within the range of potential trees that produce an edible crop, nut trees have by far the greatest food security potential, by virtue of the higher calorific, protein and lipid content of nuts compared to fruit. As far as we are aware, we are the only research establishment in Europe - possibly the whole of the Northern Hemisphere - that is looking specifically at the contribution of tree crops to local food security.
In addition to the nut research, the nursery also trials many different varieties of fruit and fruit rootstocks. Much of the research is unique in Ireland.
The nursery is also a supplier of fruit and nut trees.The nursery carries the largest range of nut trees in Ireland including cobnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, heartnuts, hickory, hican, ginkgo, pinenuts, Monkey Puzzle and almonds. We also stock a wide range of fruit trees. Among our special interest lines are apple and pear varieties for alcohol production. With the exception of some warm temperate fruit (for example peaches and apricots) all cultivars offered are suitable for Irish conditions.
This season we are offering many new lines including an increased range of pinenuts. For the full range of stock available in 2018, please refer to the ordering page.
* smaller orders may be collected from our premises
We also offer a consultancy service (primarily focused on tree crops) , undertake orchard establishment and maintenance work, and can advise on municipal or community nut and fruit tree planting projects. We can also provide technical assistance with applications for grant-aided projects. Site visits can be arranged upon request.
The nursery also runs one and two day horticultural workshops on a wide range of topics.
Fruit and Nut is involved in the trialling of many different varieties of nuts and fruit, many of which are growing at the nursery site near Westport. The site is a particularly challenging one: extremely wet, quite exposed to westerly winds and also very prone to late spring frosts. However, this provides great insights into how plants and micro-climates interact, and gives us the confidence to recommend the most appropriate varieties for anywhere in Ireland and for other countries that experience similar conditions.
Fruit and Nut is an enterprise dedicated towards finding local solutions to global food scarcity arising from fossil fuel depletion and irreversible climate change. Of particular interest is the establishment of nut and fruit orchards and the contribution these might make to future food security.
The nursery has provided technical assistance in the establishment of a number of commercial-scale cobnut orchards (two of which involve 700+ trees) and one walnut orchard of 150+ trees. To the best of our knowledge these are the largest nut orchards ever to be planted in Ireland. We are the only nursery in Ireland with technical expertise of nut orchard establishment.
The nursery is a not-for-profit enterprise fully committed to sustainable and ethical best practice. The nursery also supports fair wages, worker involvement in decision-making, and education within the workplace. Nursery policy is to minimise the use of non-renewable resources, particularly the use of non-biodegradable materials such a polythene. Both the carbon footprint and non-recycleable waste stream of the nursery are very small, perhaps only half the size of the typical European household. Ninety-nine percent of compostable material is recycled/reused on site. Approximately ninety percent of polythene arriving on the site in the form of packaging is reused.
"We're not so much a business as a steward of the piece of earth we use, a time traveller, passing from the era of oil into whatever comes next. Trees live a long time; there are nut trees alive in Ireland today, that were planted three or possibly even four centuries ago. And quite likely, in 300 years time - ten generations - there will be trees still alive in Ireland that originated at this nursery. It feels a bit like looking down the wrong end of a telescope, that if you reach far enough, you can reach to the future.
We look at the global warming and the changing climate. And we look at peak oil and then the utter dependency of the global food supply on easy oil. Within the lifetime of people alive today, multinational food supply chains will cannibalise themselves. If food production doesn't become more localised, there won't be a food supply.
The lack of debate is baffling. Yet who, amongst those with a long-term view, would bet against climate change? Two-thirds of the food eaten in Ireland is imported and of those imports, the majority comes from regions that will be adversely affected by global warming. All current agricultural policies are heading in the direction of even greater dependency on imports. Should we wait another twenty years or start planning ahead now? There can only be one answer. " Andi Wilson (founder, Fruit and Nut).
Tree Quality and Customer Guarantee
Customer satisfaction is very important to us. We often hear stories from customers who have purchased trees from other sources and been very unhappy with the quality of the stock. Fruit and Nut policy is to NEVER supply goods of a standard that we would not like to receive ourselves. Trees are inspected at the point of lifting and again at the point of packing. It is very rare for a defective item to slip through, but should some stock item not live up to expectations, we will normally replace or refund without question. The same applies to items damaged in transit (in 10 years of operation, we have had only one complaint of trees damaged in transit). In the case of bulk sales (anything over a few dozen of any one item), nursery policy is to supply a small number of extra plants/trees free of charge.
Important Changes 2018-2020
Owing to circumatances beyond our control, the nursery has to vacate its current premises and currently is looking for new premises (see news page for more on this). We hope the transition period will go smoothly but some disruption is unavoidable and our free advice service may be temporarily suspended.
Unfortunately, during the transition period it will not be possible to service any small barerooted orders, either fruit or nut: for the period autumn 2018-spring 2020 the minimum order size will be €500. Once the transition period has passed, the nursery hopes to resume small orders of apples, pears, plums, damsons and cherries, and all nut species in our range. Supply of container-grown trees will not be affected.
Please note we are not a garden centre. While we provide a collection facility for customers, we are unable to accommodate casual callers. Collection by appointment only.
Cider and Perry
Information for the intending cider apple grower
Information for the intending perry pear grower
Varieties available: Fruit and berries
Varieties available: Nuts
Advice and Consultancy
Studentships and Internships
Food Security Issues