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Apple Recommendations please

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by JWK, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    I've got space for 4 espaliers against a fence and want to grow different varieties of eating apples that I can harvest/store from Late summer till Feb/March.

    What apple varieties do you grow and would recommend?
     
  2. Kristen

    Kristen Under gardener

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    I want to grow some espaliers too, so will be interested in what varieties you choose John - and what rootstocks.

    I had planned to grow Family trees, to get additional varieties [grafted] on each "limb", but was told by a grafter that that would make the plant unbalanced, and some varieties would be more vigorous - at the expense of the others. So I ain't going to do that now :)

    I bought my wife an Apple Rack last year (posh antique model, with a hinged-flap and padlock to stop the staff from nicking them, presumably!). It has slatted drawers and hopefully will enable prolonging the season, but getting varieties that crop over a long period would be ideal.

    Our youngest misheard me and said "YOU'RE GETTING MUMMY AN APPLE MAC?" :heehee:
     
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    • Bilbo675

      Bilbo675 Total Gardener

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      I've had a Cox's Orange Pippin in the garden for 3 years now (it was a christening present for our son), I grow it as a small goblet shaped tree with an open centre. It does really well and has had no problems with pests or diseases and the apples taste great. I can't remember what root stock it was on but I assume its not too vigorous because its not growing too fast. This is the first apple tree I have grown so I can't compare it with any other, sorry I can't offer more advice...:dbgrtmb:
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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        I went to RHS Wisley last week and got some excellent advice both in the Garden Centre and from a very knowledgable chap on the Advice desk.

        For apple espaliers not all varieties are suitable, they need to be 'Spur bearing'. Suitable varieties are in this publication:
        http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Wisley/Wisley-pdfs/Fruit-List-2011-2012
        Pages 3 and 4 show the Espalier Apples that Wisley keep in stock and to help narrow the choice down even more, I was told to go for ones that had an "AGM" (Award in RHS Trials)

        I was also given a couple of other publications (which I can't find on the website, so maybe they are members only), describing Rootstocks, planting, pruning and recommended Tree Fruit Cultivars. For espaliers they recommend MM106 rootstock for my soil type and final size (8 foot tall).

        Apples are not self-fertile but need a pollinator, so when choosing cultivars you need to get them from the same or adjoining pollination groups.

        I'm lucky being close to Wisley, they have a Tasting event on 17th-21st October so I'll be going along to that and taste a few of the varieties I'm aiming to plant. If you are an RHS member Kristen they will give advice over the phone and email as well.

        I reckon to be planting in November.

        The main thing for me is the taste, so I'm really looking for what others on here like.

        I was recommended 'Discovery' as a really nice early eater.

        I've also seen the thread about 'James Grieve'.

        Thanks Blibo for Cox's Orange Pippin - that's on my shortlist now :blue thumb:
         
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        • Kristen

          Kristen Under gardener

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          I like the taste of Discovery. I would also like to grow a/some cooker(s) - assuming that is possible using Espalier, and ditto for Pears.

          Personally I don't like the taste of Cox's, but most people I know do, so makes sense to grow that too. We have some lovely apples here, but on old, huge, poorly pruned trees, so I have no idea what varieties they are. I ought to attempt to find out as it would be nice to have them in my "Fruit and Nut" garden as Espaliers if they are suitable.

          The RHS has numerous pages on "The Top 10 XXXX" - perhaps they have one on Apples?
           
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          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

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            Not advice to Kristen (as described as lovely), but if you have large, old trees and don't like the apples for eating, try getting them pressed for juice as 'rubbish' eaters can very often be great juicers.

            Juicing your apples is a great way of preserving what would otherwise be wasted.
             
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            • Freddy

              Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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              Hiya John.

              When I first moved to this house, one of the first things I did was to plant some fruit trees. Among these were two apple trees, Cox and James Grieve. This year the Cox were disappointing, regarding the size and quantity of apples. I was however really pleased with both the flavour and size of the James Grieve. I think mine too are on MM106 rootstock, and so far they are behaving themselves:blue thumb: Having said that I was disappointed at the Cox, in previous years I was very happy with them. A good idea to try to do a tasting first, as taste is such a personal thing.

              Cheers...Freddy
               
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              • Scrungee

                Scrungee Well known for it

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                And next month there should be loads of "Apple Days", many of which will be free (I do 2 free ones within 10 miles) and include such things apple tasting, apple indentification, grafting demonstrations and perhaps the chance to juice any excess harvest.
                 
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                • Lolimac

                  Lolimac Guest

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                  I'll get back to you on this one John...when i find the name of the apple my neighbour planted....i think it's a wonderfull Apple....i'm sure it's from the 'pippin' variety...has a lovely blush colour and a very faint taste of anniseed....Right where's my book:thumbsup:
                   
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                  • Spruce

                    Spruce Glad to be back .....

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                    I have "Sunset" they dont keep for long but one of the nicest I have tasted and juices well .

                    Spruce
                     
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                    • Lolimac

                      Lolimac Guest

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                      Found it John...where did i get 'pippin' from....it's called Ellison's Orange:dbgrtmb:...i'm not up onApples but i can tell you this much... i think it's delicious:dbgrtmb:....'They' reckon it can have problems with canker but my neighbours tree hasn't missed a beat...a lovely tree IMHO:thumbsup:
                       
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                      • Lolimac

                        Lolimac Guest

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                        Yep....got it now:doh:....one of the parent plants is a Cox's orange pippin.....:dbgrtmb:...knew i'd heard it somewhere :dbgrtmb:
                         
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                        • Kristen

                          Kristen Under gardener

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                        • Loofah

                          Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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                          I always recommend Spartan to anyone that asks - its a delicious red apple with crisp texture and pure white flesh.
                           
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                          • Loofah

                            Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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                            Just reviving this thread as I'm looking at a new apple tree now. @JWK what did you end up with? I'm looking at the orange pippin but open to other suggestions
                             
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