Why size matters – apple trees for all gardens big or small
A standard or half standard apple tree is fine where there is plenty of space, as these could become approximately 6-8m (20-27ft) high and produce an average of 135kg (300lb) of fruit.
A standard has 2m (7ft) clear trunk and half standard up to 1.2m (4ft). Both are generally available as one-year-old bare root trees, called maidens, from November to March.
In smaller gardens it is advisable to grow a dwarf or trained apple tree.
The most popular are apples grafted on an M27 rootstock, suitable to grow in tubs (approx. 2m/7ft high) and also the MM106, which will reach a height of about 4.5m/15ft.
A real space saver is an espalier-trained tree that could be grown against a sunny wall or fence.
Even the tiniest gardens have enough room for a cordon, which is trained into a pillar shape. Plant more cordons 3ft apart.
When you want to grow more varieties in a small garden, a family tree might be the one for you. This is where three varieties are grafted onto a single rootstock.
Container grown trees can be planted all year round apart from when the soil is frozen, waterlogged or too dry.
Bare root trees can be planted at any frost-free time between November and later March.