Growing apple trees from Suttons
Whether you want a dwarf apple tree for your patio or a new variety for your orchard, you’re bound to find something special in our range of bare root and potted apple trees. These frequently asked questions will help you care for your new purchase:
What variety of apple tree should I grow?
Apple trees live for a long time, so do your research and choose carefully. Do you want to grow dessert apples, or cooking apples, or both? If your neighbours don’t have apple trees, you’ll need to choose a self-fertile apple like ‘Queen Cox’ or plant two varieties that fall into the same pollination group like ‘Keswick Codlin’ (cooking) and ‘Lord Lambourne’ (dessert). And don’t forget to consider the decorative blossom when making your choice. Apple blossom is a beautiful sight and comes in various colours including pink and white. For more top tips, see our article: Best expert advice on growing apple trees.
When does an apple tree bloom?
Apple trees bloom between February and May, depending on whether you have chosen an early, mid or late season variety.
When should I prune apple trees in the UK?
You should prune freestanding trees in winter (between November and March) when they are dormant. This will stimulate healthy growth and good fruit production. However, if you have trained your apple tree as a cordon, espalier or fan, you should prune it in the summer, towards the end of August.
How do I prune an apple tree?
The aim of pruning your apple tree is to arrive at a maximum of six main branches which will form the main ‘backbone’ of the tree for the rest of its life. Sub-branches then grow from this ‘backbone’, and that’s where the fruits will appear. Because sub-branches become less productive when they get to about 4 years old, regularly removing some of them rejuvenates the tree and encourages new and healthy replacements to grow. See our Guide to Planting and Growing Fruit Trees for more advice.