Choosing the tree for you
Rootstocks and training methods are the key to growing an apple tree that suits your taste and garden – here are the facts
Whatever your size or style of garden, there’s an apple tree for you. To make the right choice, you need to get to grips with the different rootstocks on offer ( see below) – these determine the vigour and eventual size of the tree, so if you choose the right one you won’t end up with a specimen that is too large or small for your plot. The rootstocks listed below are all suitable for apples, giving you a range of options for different sizes and shapes of trees. A rootstock also determine trees’ suitability for training or growing in a pot, so keep this in mind if you want to grow yours in a particular way. There’s nothing wrong with planting in the ground orchard-style or in a mixed border, but how about making a decorative feature of your tree? Fans, espaliers and step- overs all look beautiful, with the added bonus of saving space – plus, they crop abundantly for their size, too. And don’t be put off if you’ve only got a balcony or a tiny courtyard – the right apple variety grafted to the right rootstock will do well in a container, so you can enjoy the delights of homegrown apples, even if you don’t have much of a garden. If you’re feeling confused, seek the advice of a specialist nursery ( see p42) – they’ll be more than happy to share their knowledge.
CONTAINER – M26 Give trees in pots lots of water, but allow the soil surface to dry out before the next watering