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New duo apple tree. Help with care needed please.

daisymdaisym Milngavie, north of GlasgowPosts: 74
My young grandson has received a bare root duo apple tree for Christmas - Braeburn and Bramley. Neither parents are gardeners. The tree is approx 1.5m at the moment and I don't know what the rootsock is. What size pot would it need - no space yet in the garden-and what soil would be best in the pot? Many thanks for help and suggestions. 


  • You need to know which rootstock the tree is on because that will dictate what the tree will ultimately need, open ground or container. Try contacting the company that supplied it or you might find the grower's name on the label. If it is on non-dwarfing stock it will never do well in a container.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,490
    edited December 2022
    @daisym I believe most of the duo apple trees are on a dwarf rootstock but hopefully the label or the grower's name should help. Buy quite a big pot, plastic might be easier to use as a temporary solution and use John Innes no. 3 as the potting medium.
    My duo apple tree is now 14 years old and about 3-4 metres high in the ground. You can keep them pruned lower if you wish.

    If your grandson also lives in the Glasgow area, you might need to bubblewrap the pot over the winter and keep it by the house wall for protection if possible.
  • daisymdaisym Milngavie, north of GlasgowPosts: 74
    @Joyce Goldenlily @Lizzie27 Very many thanks. I will be able to check on these points tomorrow. Don't know who the supplier is but parents will know. They live fairly close to me and it is currently snowing heavily. However, I have unwrapped the tree with my grandson and we have it in a cold conservatory in a bucket of water. Hopefully will get it planted in a large pot in the next few days once I have followed up your suggestions. It is interesting for me as I have not grown a fruit tree before!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,965
    I wouldn't worry too much just now @daisym . As said - it'll likely be on a dwarfing rootstock but it should have been clear on the seller's instructions/site, so if you can find out the name of the supplier that will help. It may not suit long term potting.
    A pot big enough to contain the root well - around a foot will do, and it won't matter too much what's in it, but a soil based mix is best if it's staying in a pot for now. Com[post is fine short term but not for more than a couple of months.
    Don't keep it indoors or cosset it. Outside in a sheltered spot where it won't get knocked around by wind/rain. Snow won't affect it, and even the freeze we have here won't be a problem either. I have plenty of plants in very small pots that are fine so don't worry about that. I keep lots of mine in among other plants/pots, against the house wall, or in among other shrubs.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • daisymdaisym Milngavie, north of GlasgowPosts: 74
    Thank you @Fairygirl. That is very reassuring. The tree will need to be in a pot for probably 6-9 months due to building works round about. However, I will suggest to him  that a sheltered place outside is better than in the conservatory. Also, to check any instructions from the seller. I think I am as excited as he is!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,965
    I don't know how successful those duo trees are, but you'll find out in due course!
    It'll be a while before it's mature enough to produce fruit too   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • @daisym dwarf fruit trees take between 4-7 years to produce fruit.
  • Bramley apples can also be very frustrating if you don't have any pollinators near by. 

    It describes why better and more concisely than I can here

    We live in a town and our bramley were never pollinated until we got a couple more apple varieties, if you have nearby neighbouring trees then you might not face the same problems.
  • daisymdaisym Milngavie, north of GlasgowPosts: 74
    Thank you @rossdriscoll13 and @thevictorian. This is becoming more and more interesting!
    I had no idea of the complexity of growing an apple tree.
    Can I assume that the Braeburn on the same rootstock would act as one of the pollinators? Then we would just need to plant one more different apple tree. As far as I know, there are no local apple trees.
  • daisymdaisym Milngavie, north of GlasgowPosts: 74
    @thevictorian That is an excellent website. So much information. Thank you for sharing. 

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