Every garden should have an apple tree - whether it's a cooking or eating variety; a giant with a rope swing tied to a branch or a dwarf variety in a pot. All our apple trees are hardy, reliable and will produce delicious fruit for years, not to mention abundant blossom in Spring. Choose from our huge variety of bare root apple trees for even better value - plant them in the winter and watch them shoot off in the spring! Read on for all you need to know about choosing, growing and caring for apple trees.
What size/rootstock do I need?
The eventual size of an apple tree depends on its rootstock, so this is an important thing to consider. Trees on MM106 (semi-dwarfing) rootstock will grow to around 4 x 4m, so are best for medium to large gardens. An M26 rootstock means your tree will reach a compact 3 x 3.5m, making it ideal for smaller spaces. M9 rootstocks reach a height of 2.5m and M27 a patio pot friendly 1.5 x 1.5m. For a space saving tree with a good yield, we recommend cordon trees, which are trained to grow in a column shape.
Do I need a self-fertile apple tree?
Almost certainly not - trees that are not self fertile need another apple tree within about a mile to help with pollination. Even crabapple trees are fine, and these are pretty common, so if you live in a populated area it’s very unlikely you’ll have any problems. However if you are in an isolated area, go for a self fertile variety like Scrumptious - and if you have the space, two apple trees grown close together (of different varieties) will crop more heavily.
Do I need a special kind of apple for eating/cooking/cider?
Most apples are fine for eating and cooking, however some varieties have been bred to give you the best results for each purpose. Dessert apples like Katy are crisp, sweet and best for eating raw. Cooking apples are larger and juicier - try Bramley’s Seedling. For a great all-rounder that will serve all purposes (including cider making) try a variety like James Grieve or Elstar.
What else should I consider?
You may want to consider harvesting time if you want to avoid a month where you’re usually on holiday, or if you want to store the apples, some varieties such as Egremont Russet are better. You might prefer familiar favourites like Golden Delicious or rarer heritage varieties such as Worcester Pearmain. Several of our apples have also been awarded the RHS award of garden merit.
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