Taller options available for some trees. Please use the contact us page stating species, height range and postcode for more info.
John Downie Crab Apple Tree Click The Link For Cheaper Bare Root John Downie Crab Apple
John Downie is a well-known very ornamental crab apple. Popular for a combination of reasons. This tree carries a combination of large quantities of cup shaped, white flowers which open from pale pink coloured buds in late spring, followed by large, orange/red coloured almost pear shaped fruit, which are edible and may be used in making preserves. In addition, this apple often acts as a pollination partner for many of our apple fruit trees. For best results plant in a full sun position.
Like our other crab apples varieties, John Downie makes an excellent choice for a small to medium sized town garden even though it is considered fast growing. Expect visits from Wildlife to increase e.g. birds and insects but no lions and tigers unless you leave near a poorly fenced zoo and you are making beef jerky in the garden. John Downie is a good choice for also making cider when mixing the juice with other apple varieties.
Our John Downie is supplied at 2-3 years old and a crop of crab apples in the first year is a realistic expectation but not guaranteed.
It has received the RHS Award Of Harden Merit meaning that it has particularly outstanding attributes when compared to other Crab Apple trees which could be a little controversial when you read about its disease resistance in a bit.
Expect a height of around 4m and width 2m at 10 years as the John Downie crab apple tree is usually grafted onto a MM106 rootstock. The final height is determined by local conditions and soil types so if you are planting in "Blue Peter soil" or emulate Monty Don or any other TV gardening personality, then you are likely to get favourable results quickly. Should your local weather promote penguin population growth more than crab apple growth then expect to wait longer.
For as wonderful as the John Downie is at producing fruit, it also can be crab apple tree that might need a little looking after if you want best results. It can be prone to some diseases and having a damp garden will exacerbate that problem. Things you can do to improve your situation if the tree starts showing signs of bacterial or fungal issues are:
- Improve drainage in the soil by using a fork to break up a hardened clay layer
- Clear 1m radius around the tree of grass and weeds, replace with porous covering
- Give a general purpose tree feed before Spring
- When watering other plants in the garden, water the roots not the foliage
- Keep the grass short so it dries out quicker
- Allow as much light and air into the garden as possible
- Prune the tree so light and air can get into the centre of the foliage
- Plant in a full sun position
- When your tall wide friends come to admire the tree, get them to stand North side
- Support UKIP in banning all non British Bacteria and Fungus from our shores.
Pruning John Downie Crab Apple Tree
This tree will benefit from an occasional pruning to thin out the branches to promote new growth. Mid Summer on a hot day is one way of reducing infection to an open tree wound, other experts would suggest anytime in its dormant phase from November to March.
Soil Types For John Downie Crab Apple Tree
This crab apple tree is listed as clay tolerant and will perform well in most fertile well draining soils from acid to alkaline.
John Downie Crab Apple Tree Flowering Period
Listed as group 4 meaning it will pollinate other apple trees in group 3,4 or 5.
John Downie Crab Apple Tree Fertility
This tree is listed as self fertile and therefore will produce a crop of apples if not other apple tree or pollinator is nearby. Entirely possible that you get a crop of crab apples in the first growing season.
John Downie Crab Apple Tree Hardiness
Considered to be fully UK hardy and capable of surviving a "normal" UK winter and frost.
John Downie Rootstock Options
M27 : Mature height will be around 150-200cm, Supplied at around this height.
MM106 : Mature height will be around 350cm. Supplied 150-180cm
MM106+: Mature height will be around 350cm, Supplied 180-240cm
The "Half Standard" part of the rootstock options refers to the tree shape. It has been pruned to give a pleasing ornamental lollipop shape and has a section of clear stem. These will be trees and not bushes or shrubs.
This tree is supplied at of height of between 1.5m and 2.4m in a 10-15 litre container, which means that the tree can be planted any time of the year and with better results than either bare-root or rootballed trees.
Message card included at no additional cost if required. Just add the information required on the card at checkout.
Multiple Order Discount
Orders over £300 can be discounted by contacting us on 0800 043 1057
Ornamental Tree Roots In The Shade e.g. Behind A Fence
It is more important that that foliage (posh term for leaves) receives the sunlight than the roots. So if the canopy of your ornamental tree can sunbathe but the bottom of your tree thinks there has been a nuclear winter then that is ok. You might want to ensure you have good drainage as water and no sun is the start of algae and other such issues.
Early Autumn Leaf Fall
Heat stress, being potted, lack of water, being boxed up for a few days etc can cause early Autumn leaf fall. Once planted, normal service will resume next season.
Do I Need To Stake My Ornamental Tree?
9 out of 10 times the answer will be no, especially if under 200cm tall. However our article on Tree Staking should help guide you.
UK Grown Ornamental TreesClimate Change
All our trees are banned from overseas travel so that we can state they are all UK grown. We have removed Internet access from the nursery so they cannot book any flights.
Warm and wet conditions from Climate Change have increased aesthetic foliage issues such as Powdery Mildew, Shothole, Rust etc These are not terminal issues and will usually last a season. All trees are inspected before being sent out to ensure they are fundamentally healthy. Planting In The Corner Of A Garden
Air and light is reduced in this location which could promote fungus and bacterial issues. If the corner is of the house and a fence then you also have leeching issues to contend with from cement and wood preservatives. Also when it rains, that area would experience higher water levels so we advise against it.
Crab Apple Trees Listed As Good For Jelly
Laura, John Downie, Jelly King, Wisley, Pink Glow, Robusta, Dolgo, Butterball, Harry Baker and Red Obelisk.
Crab Apple Trees Listed As Patio
Any Crab apple tree listed as suitable for patio growing means that it has most likely been grafted onto an M27 rootstock giving it an ultimate height of around 1.5 metres.
Crab Apple Disease Resistance
Crab apple trees are generally resistant to disease but those that seem to be considerably less prone to problems are Admiration, Pink Glow, Wedding Bouquet, ButterBall, Cardinal, Comtesa De Paris, Elk River, Coralburst, Donald Wyman, Golden Gem, Gorgeous, Indian Magic, Jelly King, Louisa, Prairie Fire, Rudolf, Sun Rival, Tina, Scarlett, Transitoria, Guardsman and White Star.
Crab Apple Pollinators
Crab apples have long flowering periods which makes them very useful as pollination partners. Many commercial orchards inter-plant crab apples with normal apple trees to increase fruit yield. A crab apple is self fertile and will set fruit without the need of another apple tree nearby.
Crab Apple Drought Resistance
Generally speaking, Crab Apples tolerate drought reasonably well.
Sun Or Shade For Crab Apples
For best results from the flowers and fruits, a full sun position is preferred however light shade is acceptable. Excessive shade will lead to less flowers and fruits, a more open canopy and problems with Powdery Mildew. Shade and poor drainage is a good combination for bacterial and fungal issues.
Crab Apple Suckering
If your Crab Apple has been grafted (many are) then you may experience small green shoots growing out the side of the tree below the graft point (around 10-30cm above ground) Remove these by rubbing your hand across the bark or snapping off. These will not grow as the original tree you purchased.
Crab Apples With Long Lasting Fruits
For those wishing to feed the local wildlife well into Autumn and Winter, consider purchasing Comtessa De Paris , Red Sentinel and Toringo Scarlet. Other crab apple trees with almost as long lasting fruits include Admiration, Evereste, Wedding Bouquet and Rudolph