Plant an apple tree
Our guide to nurseries and orchard initiatives
Choose from the many different strains, culinary or dessert, including romantically named heritage types, and numerous forms, ranging from standard to dwarf - there's one to fit every patch or pot. Whichever you pick, your tree will yield fruit and flowers for both you and your heirs.
There are a number of criteria to consider when choosing a fruit tree. See the Royal Horticultural Society's expert advice on selecting a variety by clicking here and its guide to cultivating fruit in containers by clicking here.
Find a tree nursery
Make your selection of varieties - a number of the specialists listed below offer mail order. The nursery staff will be able to advise you about important considerations such as where to position the tree, which rootstock is suitable for your needs and space (this determines the eventual size and form) and general care and maintenance. Remember, if you pick your trees now - at the beginning of the season - you'll have a larger choice of types and strains.
Ashridge, Somerset www.ashridgetrees.co.uk, 01963 359444
Blackmoor, Hampshire www.blackmoor.co.uk, 01420 477978
Butterworths Organic Nursery, Ayrshire www.butterworthsorganicnursery.co.uk
Cool Temperate, Nottinghamshire www.cooltemperate.co.uk, 0115 916 2673
Deacon's Nursery, Isle of Wight www.deaconsnurseryfruits.co.uk, 01983 840750
Graig Farm Organics, Powys www.graigfarm.co.uk, 01597 851655
Jasper Trees, Herefordshire www.jaspertrees.co.uk
Keepers Nursery, Kent www.keepers-nursery.co.uk, 01622 726465
Ken Muir, Essex www.kenmuir.co.uk, 01255 830181
RV Roger, North Yorkshire www.rvroger.co.uk, 01751 472226
Thornhayes Nursery, Devon www.thornhayes-nursery.co.uk, 01884 266746
Victoriana Nursery Gardens, Kent www.victoriananursery.co.uk, 01233 740529
Walcot Nursery, Worcestershire www.walcotnursery.co.uk, 01905 841587
Apple inspiration and orchard initiatives
Common Ground, a charity that promotes local distinctiveness, has been working to save old orchards and encouraging the setting up of new community orchards for 30 years. Its 'Apple Source Book' by Sue Clifford and Angela King (Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99) is a celebration of the 2,000 or more varieties of apple, their history, uses and associated customs such as wassailing, and contains information about specialist varieties. See the website for a celebration of a year in an orchard as well as orchard-news and advice on community schemes. As part of this drive, it invented Apple Day (21 October). Click here to find out how you can take part.
If you haven't room even for a pot, why not join a scheme where you can pay a subscription for a share of an orchard's harvest? Dragon Orchard, previously featured in Country Living Magazine, in Ledbury, Herefordshire, offers people the chance to either sponsor a tree for a chance to collect fruit in the autumn, or become a crop-sharer when people are invited to visit the farm on an open day each season of the year and receive a bounty of apples and juice, as well as supporting the traditional orchard. For further details, click on the link above.
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