Malus domestica

Family: Rosaceae

Countries: Afghanistan, Asia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan

Apples, also known by their botanical name of Malus domestica, are a group of deciduous fruit trees, which originate from Asia and have been cultivated for a great many years.

In the UK, apples are commonly divided into two groups: culinary or cooking apples and dessert apples.  Other countries do not group, or consider apples in this way, they treat apples as one group.

Apples can be trained as cordons, bushes, pyramids, ballerinas, standards, step-over apples, and espaliers.  Apple trees grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks can be grown successfully in large containers filled with peat-free compost.

Apple trees are usually grafted onto a rootstock before purchase.  If you’re buying an apple tree, avoid making a spur of the moment purchase, it’s wise to select apple trees that have been grafted onto the best rootstock both for your soil and the conditions you can provide your tree with, as well as the form you want to train or grow your tree into – whether you’re intending to grow a standard tree, a bush, espalier, or another trained form.  It is also important to choose a rootstock which, along with pruning, the depth of soil, and growing conditions, will help to influence the eventual size of your apple tree.  Dwarfing rootstocks, such as M27 and M9 are available; however, these are less vigorous rootstocks and trees grafted on these more delicate roots need optimum conditions and care to succeed.  M26 and MM106 are recommended for the next size up trees: apple trees for medium sized gardens.  While M25 and MM111 are vigorous rootstocks, these are reserved for very large, standard apple trees for large sites.

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