Apple trees have long been a cherished part of the British landscape, producing familiar and beloved varieties such as Cox’s Orange Pippin and Bramley. However, for the adventurous gardener, there is a world of rare and exotic apple trees waiting to be discovered. These unique varieties offer a taste of the extraordinary and can add a touch of intrigue to your orchard. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey into the realm of rare and exotic apple trees available for sale in the UK, showcasing their fascinating flavors, histories, and the joy they can bring to your garden.
But before we delve into the world of rare and exotic apple trees, let’s hear from ChrisBowers seasoned horticultural expert, as he shares essential insights on what to be careful about when planting apple trees: ”Planting apple trees is a rewarding endeavor, but it demands careful consideration. Firstly, your choice of location is critical. Apple trees thrive in full sunlight and well-drained soil. Ensure your selected spot receives at least six hours of sunlight each day and has adequate air circulation to prevent diseases.”
Secondly, when it comes to apple varieties, think about your preferences. There is an incredible range of flavors and textures to explore, from sweet and juicy to tart and crisp. Consider whether you want apples for fresh eating, cooking, or cider-making and select a variety accordingly.
Additionally, the rootstock of your apple tree should match your available space. Dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstocks are ideal for smaller gardens, while standard rootstocks suit larger areas. Lastly, always acquire and search for apple trees for sale from reputable sources to ensure you receive healthy, disease-free saplings that are well-suited to your local climate.
Now that we’ve considered the essentials of apple tree planting, let’s embark on a journey to discover rare and exotic apple trees available for sale in the UK.
The Fascinating World of Rare Apple Varieties
While the UK is known for its traditional apple varieties, there’s a captivating world of rare and exotic apples waiting to be explored. These unique varieties offer intriguing flavors, colors, and histories that can add a dash of excitement to your orchard. Here are a few rare apple varieties worth considering:
1. Egremont Russet:
– Flavor: Sweet, nutty, and slightly acidic.
– Characteristics: Known for its distinctive rough, russeted skin, this apple is excellent for fresh eating and cider.
2. Ashmead’s Kernel:
– Flavor: Complex and aromatic, with a sweet-tart balance.
– Characteristics: This apple has a russeted skin and is prized for its unique flavor and culinary versatility.
3. Ribston Pippin:
– Flavor: Sweet and slightly sharp.
– Characteristics: A historic apple variety dating back to the early 1700s, it’s renowned for its excellent flavor and attractive appearance.
4. Allington Pippin:
– Flavor: Sweet and aromatic.
– Characteristics: This apple has a long history and is well-regarded for its dessert qualities.
– Flavor: Sweet, with a hint of honey and pear.
– Characteristics: An attractive apple with a distinctive pink blush, perfect for fresh eating.
Exploring Exotic Apple Varieties
In addition to rare British apple varieties, there is a world of exotic apples from around the globe that can thrive in the UK’s climate. These apples bring unique flavors and characteristics to your orchard. Here are a few exotic apple varieties available for sale:
– Origin: Japan.
– Flavor: Sweet, crisp, and juicy.
– Use: Excellent for fresh eating and salads.
– Origin: New Zealand.
– Flavor: Sweet and aromatic.
– Use: Great for snacking and adding to fruit salads.
3. Pink Lady:
– Origin: Australia.
– Flavor: Sweet-tart and crisp.
– Use: Ideal for fresh eating and baking.
– Origin: United States.
– Flavor: Sweet and exceptionally crisp.
– Use: Perfect for snacking and making cider.
5. Cox’s Orange Pippin:
– Origin: United Kingdom (not exotic, but beloved worldwide).
– Flavor: Rich, aromatic, and slightly tart.
– Use: Renowned for fresh eating and baking.
Where to Find Rare and Exotic Apple Trees
To bring these rare and exotic apple varieties to your orchard, consider the following sources:
1. Specialty Nurseries:
Some nurseries specialize in rare and exotic fruit trees, including apple varieties. These nurseries often provide expert guidance on care and maintenance.
2. Online Suppliers:
Explore online suppliers that offer a wide range of apple varieties, including rare and exotic options. Be sure to read customer reviews for quality assurance.
3. Fruit Tree Fairs and Markets:
Attend local fruit tree fairs and markets, where you may find vendors offering unique apple tree varieties.
4. Orchard Visits:
Visit orchards or fruit farms that specialize in rare and exotic apple varieties. You may have the opportunity to purchase saplings directly from the source.
Caring for Rare and Exotic Apple Trees
Caring for rare and exotic apple trees is similar to caring for traditional varieties. Here are some essential tips:
- Site Selection: Ensure your chosen location provides ample sunlight and well-drained soil, regardless of the apple variety.
- Planting: Follow proper planting techniques, taking care to plant at the right depth and spacing.
- Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain the shape and health of your trees. Consult resources or experts for guidance on pruning specific varieties.
- Fertilization: Apply balanced fertilizer in early spring to provide essential nutrients.
- Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but avoid waterlogged conditions.
- Disease Control: Monitor for signs of disease and apply appropriate treatments as needed. Different varieties may have varying disease resistance levels.
- Harvest: Enjoy the unique flavors of your rare and exotic apples when they are ripe. Harvesting times may vary, so consult resources for specific guidance.
Exploring the world of rare and exotic apple trees is a delightful journey that can infuse your orchard with diversity and excitement. Whether you opt for rare British varieties or exotic apples from distant shores, each variety brings its own charm and flavors to your garden.
With proper care and attention, these unique apple trees can thrive in the UK’s climate, rewarding you with a cornucopia of flavors and a glimpse into the rich diversity of the apple world. So, venture beyond the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary by adding rare and exotic apple trees to your orchard. Happy planting!