Getting the best from your apple trees

page 43-a1gareth-applesI’m passing you over to Gareth Austin this week as he is extremely knowledgeable about apples amongst a myriad of other gardening related topics. Gareth tells us how to choose and look after apple trees. There’s one to suit every garden!
Ever since Eve bit into the forbidden fruit apple trees have been a source of myth and legend. Top fruit (fruit grown on trees rather than bushes) is easily grown in any garden and depending on the type selected they can happily grow in pots or big tubs on the patio. Apples are the most common top fruit that we plant and grow, with pears, plums and cherries making up the other popular types.

How big?
When we first go to select apple trees the first decision is how big do we want them to grow. A semi-dwarf apple tree grows on a specially selected root-stock which helps to restrict the overall height to around the 10-12 feet mark when grown in open ground
For the small garden or for growing in patio tubs, look no further than dwarf apples, types like the Golden Delicious  and spur apple variety can be happily grown in containers and pots on the patio or in open ground in small gardens. These trees are grown on a dwarf root-stock so the growth is limited to around the 6 feet.
Another type of dwarf fruit tree is the Coronet Apple Tree. These are grown on a dwarf rootstock and will grow to around 6 feet. These again are ideal for the smaller garden and for large pots on the patio. The habit is small and open, they look just like a small apple tree, and the fruit is regular in size. These can be grown in open ground but they soil has to be rich. The rootstock are slow growing so the roots aren’t able to go for large distances and source their own substance so if you’re growing in open ground ensure the local area around the tree (1mx1m0.5m) has been well enriched and is well nourished.


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