Almost all fruit trees and a high proportion of nut trees are grafted – that is, the fruiting part of the tree is grafted onto a separate rootstock. The choice of rootstock determines not just the ultimate size of the tree, but also factors such as disease or pest resistance, tolerance of poor ground or climate extremes, precociousness (ability to begin fruiting early in life), longevity, yield and ability to stand alone without long-term staking.

Apples are generally not self fertile so will require a pollinator from the same or adjacent pollination group. For example:a cultivar (variety) in pollination group 3 will require a pollinator from groups 2, 3 or 4. Triploids require a pollinator from the same or adjacent pollination group but will not provide reciprocal pollination. Hence the pollinator of a triploid requires its own separate pollinator.

Varieties available for 2021/2022 planting season:
Bramley’s Seedling:
Cooker producing large crops of large well flavoured fruit. Hardy and vigorous. Moderately high in vitamin C (16mg/100g). Good for juice or cider production. October to March. Pollination group 3 but triploid.
Discovery:
Eater. August. Possibly the tastiest of the early apples. Crisp with slight hint of strawberry. Bright red with pink coloured flesh. Does not keep. Homegrown ones are much tastier than the ones found in the shops. Pollination group 2/3.
Laxton’s Superb:
Eater. Firm textured dessert apple. Hardy variety, resistant to canker and mildew. Pollinator group 4 (partially self-fertile). Harvest beginning of October.
Johnagold:
Triploid variety. Self-sterile and cannot pollinate other trees. Vigorous grower with large apples. Store well if picked just before they are ripe. Excellent for juice or cider. Harvest mid-October. Pollinator group 4.
Elstar:
Eater/Dessert apple. Fruit from late Autumn.
Braeburn:
Easy to grow. Produces a large crop early in its life. Stores well. Best eaten around November. Not as disease resistant as some other varieties.

Dabinet:
Full bodied cider apple. Small tree, moderately vigorous. Good overall disease resistance. Apples store well.
Michelin:
Medium bittersweet. Sweet, aromatic. Vintage quality. Compact tree, precocious. Usually a reliable cropper but in wet areas prone to canker. Commonly used in Ireland for industrial scale commercial cider (heavily sprayed). October to November. Pollination group 5.