Apples are the most widely grown of all the
tree fruits in the UK, the reasons for this are easy to find. There is a
cultivar that will succeed nearly all parts of the UK and on most soils. There
is an apple to suit every taste whether it is a dessert or culinary variety. No
other fruit can provide a range of cultivars which will bear fruit for nine
months of the year.
Apples are a long term crop which with
regular care will remain healthy and productive for fifty years or more. With
this in mind it is important to decide which rootstock the tree should be grown
on, which tree form you wish to grow, and the pollination requirements of the
cultivar you wish to choose before buying.
Rootstocks in order of their vigour are
outlined below: -
M27 - Very
Dwarf. An ideal rootstock
for the smaller garden. It will reach a height of no more than 2 metres and need
very little support. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit within two to
M9 - Dwarf. A very productive rootstock which needs good soil. It has poor anchorage so
requires permanent staking. It will reach a height of 2.5-3m. Trees grown on
this rootstock will bear fruit within three years. Used for dwarf bushes,
spindlebushes, dwarf pyramids, and cordons.
Semi-Dwarf. A good rootstock for most soils, requires support on most sites. It will reach a height
of 3-3.5m. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit within three to four
years. Used for bush trees, dwarf pyramids, and cordons.
Semi-Vigorous. A general
purpose rootstock which is suitable for most soils including lighter grounds. It
will reach a height of 4-5.5m. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit
within three to four years. Used for bush trees, spindlebushes, cordons,
espaliers, and fans.
MM111 & M25 -
Vigorous. This rootstock
makes large trees on good soils and medium-sized trees on poor soils. It will
reach a height of 5.5-7.5m. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit within
six to seven years. Used for standards in large gardens or for medium-sized bush
trees on poor soils.
Apples are available as bare-root
one-year-maidens from November to March. Trained forms of apples are available
in 12 litre pots all-year-round.