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Planting crab apples?

KmehKmeh Posts: 171
Our local garden centre has reopened for deliveries. I'd prefer to give them the bigger order business so have waited till they can deliver. Would you still plant crab apples. They aren't bare rooted and probably 1.5 m plus high - so theoretically ok? Any thoughts?

Many thanks


  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Anything in a pot can be planted throughout the year, just be aware it will need watering regularly until autumn at least.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 4,213
    I personally advise against planting trees in pots, especially at this time of year. Much better/safer wait for the tree planting season (October-March) and go with bare roots.
    I planted my crab-apple 'Evereste' bare-rooted in the Autumn of 2014, it was approx. 2 metres tall then and now more than 4 metres.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    My crab apple second year in my garden bought potted  with its  crab apples already formed  but not full colour so during summer time. It was about as tall as the wall when first planted.

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 4,213
    @K67 Nice-looking crab-apple tree! Of course, potted trees can work, but I think you are always taking a risk with those, rather than the good old bare-rooted method.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • KmehKmeh Posts: 171
    Thank you for your replies. Just for my understanding @Papi Jo - what are the risks with potted trees? Thank you
  • KmehKmeh Posts: 171
    Ps both your gardens look lovely
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    If you are impatient like me it's potted all the way, bare root trees are only available between November and March.
    Over the years in 3 or 4 gardens I have bought and planted 15 or so trees in pots and they all survived.
    In my current garden I have 5 all doing well.
    I can recommend mail order trees website. They come well packaged and are grown in air pots which help with root development.
    I don't think there are many places that do bare root as opposed to potted and perhaps the choice is more limited in the UK? But then again as I have never search for bare root trees there might be loads! 🤗
  • KmehKmeh Posts: 171
    Just a further couple of questions. 

    - are there any rules around planting fruit trees in pairs or sets for pollination? Feel like I read this somewhere before.

    - just watched a monty vid on planting crab apples. He said don't use compost around it - just mulch on top and put the existing soil back in so that the plant's roots adjust and spread.  These are being planted on a lawn - which is very clay, hard as rock and probably lacking nutrients given the state of our lawn at present😁. 
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Not great on fruit trees but there are lists of what varieties need pollinators but some are self fertile if you want edible fruit.
    The theory of planting without enriching the soil is that the tree roots will stay in the same area and not spread out.
    If you are planting in really poor soil I would add something to improve it. Also some horticultural grit if it's poor drainage.
    Dig out a 2ft square by at least 18 ins deep and fill the hole up with water to see if it drains away.
    Stick in a fork as far as you can  over the bottom to loosen the clay up and then refill but dont allow the grass to grow near the tree.
    I could make pots out of my soil hence the raised beds. I just took out lumps of solid clay and replaced with bought bagged top soil and then I mulch every autumn or spring with bagged manure both of which I get at B & M
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