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Choosing apple trees

Sorry, me again... I hope you don't mind me bombarding you with questions.

It looks like we are heading towards 3 apple trees. Based on what we like eating, on what is available locally as I'm struggling to find an online nursery that delivers, and on what I also know local growers have (e.g. my market permaculture grower), this is the current list:

Cox's Orange Pippin
Reine des Reinettes, which I think is King of Pippins
Golden Delicious

My reading is that these will work together for pollination, but please correct me if I'm wrong. There are a couple of apple trees over the road but I have no idea what they are so I'll have to work on the basis of no other apples nearby.

Any thoughts/comments?


  • chickychicky Posts: 10,402
    edited January 2023

    Using the table in this link it looks like you have a Group 3, Group 4 and Group 5 - so nicely overlapping.  Should be just fine.

    Remember to pick off any emerging fruit for the first 3 years to let the tree establish properly - then from year 4 onwards you should get a great crop - yum 😋 

    I am still eating last seasons apples from the cold store we have set up in the shed.  Normally keeps me going til March (we have 4 trees, and leave a lot of windfalls for our furry and feathered friends)
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,834
    I would be tempted to replace the Golden Delicious on your list with something better. Personally I would go for something I couldn't easily find in the shops whereas generic GD is available from any supermarket. How about a cooking apple as you already have two eaters in your list? Calville Blanc and Reinette Clochard are pollination group 4.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,005
    I have recently planted 3 apple trees.  I'd done loads of research and was going t go with old, local varieties as there is a conservatoire about 25kms form here that has a collection and sells scions.

    However, I fell upon a new nursery about an hour away in the Deux Sèvres, set up by a Scottish nursery family who'd emigrated.  They had Bramley Seedling, Cox's OP and a Braeburn which we planted last November and 2 weeks ago I added amalus Adirondack crab apple for extra pollination.   Never seen a Bramley apple here and Cox and Braeburn have become rare in local SMs.

    I agree with not planting a Golden delicios as they are so freely available.   Go for something more interesting and not found in the shops but check the pollination groups on @chick's RHS link.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I think I might have found a nursery

    It's a hour or so away but I can do there and back on a charge (electric car!). I'm assuming they'd be more than happy to advise to make sure we get the right combination.

    And they do the Bramley Seedling too. Funny, in the UK I spent my life wondering why everyone had Bramleys and nothing else, here they're like gold dust!
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,005
    edited January 2023
    Bramley seedling is triploid so needs 2 other pollinators in its group, hence my 2 plus the crab apple for insurance.   The French don't seem to do tart cooking apples.  The people at the local conservatoire hadn't heard of it.

    Don't forget to ask for rooting stock if you don't want huge trees.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • @chicky we didn't have the advice about not allowing the fruit to develop the first year of planting out. We allowed them to fruit and develop and had a great harvest from all the trees for over 8 years now apart from Fiesta which had a rest last year.
    Like you we are still eating the stored ones. They are regular checked and any bruised ones taken out and put back in the orchard for the birds and foxes. @NormandyLiz we also have Spartan which is a late ripening apple whilst Katya is an earlier one. Agree about going with varieties that you don't see very often in the shops.
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