Growing Apple Trees Londonderry
Growing Apple Trees
Growing Apple Trees#
A look at apple tree pollination and planting
Growing apple trees is easy but when buying, you do need to consider pollination needs before you select your trees! This page also deals with planting apple trees and protecting your trees.
This is the second page on growing apples. Other pages that might interest you:
: The different shapes and sizes and what to choose for your site.
How to prune apple trees and disease prevention and management.
Blossom groups or pollination groups
The next important thing to consider before growing apple trees is the blossom groups.
Apple trees need to have another apple tree nearby flowering at the same time so that pollination can occur. If you live near to other people with apple trees this might solve the problem for you.
If you live where there are no nearby suitable apples or crab apples then you will need to buy young trees which are compatible. For example, if you buy one Egremont Russet, then you will need either a second Russet or a different variety which is compatible. Otherwise, a long-flowering crab apple can do the trick as they are compatible with many apple varieties.
One of the fun things about growing apple trees at home is exploring the less usual varieties.
Suffolk, where I live, has lots of venerable old apple varieties which are well worth growing. Organisations are springing up to preserve and propagate old varieties like these.
It's also great to grow your own organic apples because you are promoting your own good health, that of your family and the long-term health of the soil.
If you consider this route to apple heaven, do take advice so that your apple trees are pollinated properly each season. Growing apple trees successfully is even more satisfying if you raise organic well-adapted stock. Things can get complicated here. Apple trees are divided by growers into pollination groups. Commonly they are divided into 4 or 5 main groups but there are more complicated systems which are favoured by some growers.
The main reason for these groups is because flowering occurs at different times. If you buy a group 1 pollinator and pair it up with a group 5 pollinator you are unlikely to get any fruit from either. The bees which do the work are unable to time travel!
There is some cross-over between adjacent groups and a flowering crab apple can be very useful because they often have a long flowering period.
Picture: growing apple trees to provide dessert apples for your table is very rewarding. Egremont Russet is a sweet and tasty variety.
But failing that, you do need to select new trees for growing apples quite carefully.
If you want to research some of the less common varieties and their pollination groups check out: which has a good list of pollination groups.
More on pollination
What makes apple tree pollination sound even more complicat...