|Bardsey Island apple trees produce early-mid season eating apples that are also pretty good for cooking.
Characteristics of Bardsey Island Trees:
Use: Eating. Crisp and tangy. Bakes to a sweet puree when cooked.
Spur Bearer: suitable for cordons & training on wires.
Tree’s growth habit: Average vigour.
Harvest: Late September.
Store & ripen in a cool, dry place: Until November.A crisp, citrusy eating apple that also cooks to a puree, the Bardsey tree is thought to be a very old variety, though it has only recently been made available to buy. It is a good cropper.
Bardsey Apple is in pollination Group B.
This means that they will cross-pollinate with other apple trees in pollination Groups A, B and C.This tree is believed to be disease resistant.
History and Parentage:
One old apple tree, probably planted over 100 years ago, growing flat against the wall of a house called Plas Bach on windswept Bardsey Island, just off the coast of northern Wales, was “discovered” in 1998 by Mr Ian Sturrock. With help from the Brogdale Trust, it has been named a unique variety and cuttings were taken to propagate the tree.
The parent tree has been able to survive the salt winds on the island thanks to the shape of the house, which shelters it from the 2 main directions of the wind. Whenever one of its branches grows out beyond the shelter of the walls, it is quickly killed by the salt – a sort of natural pruning. As a result, the parent tree looks more like a climbing plant growing up the side of the house than a normal tree.
Notes on planting Bardsey Island trees:
All fruit trees like a rich soil with decent drainage, protection from the wind and plenty of sun. Apple trees like clay soil, as long as it is not prone to bad waterlogging.
Prepare your site before planting:
Improving the soil in advance of planting your apple trees will help them establish quickly and be productive for years to come. After you have destroyed all the weeds and grass (use a glyphosate based weed-killer for tough weeds), you can dig the soil over. Remove any stones and rubbish and mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.
You can do this on planting day, but when you do it weeks or months in advance, you will give the soil time to settle again.
Spacing Bardsey Island apple trees:
Freestanding bushes: 12-18 feet (4-6 metres) between trees and rows.
Freestanding half-standards: 18-30 feet (6-10 metres) between trees and rows.
In general, allow 1 more metre between rows than there is between each tree in the row.
Wire-trained cordons can be planted in rows 60-100cms apart.
Espaliers need to be spaced at 10-18 feet (3-6 metres) apart.
If you are growing a maiden sized apple tree into a freestanding tree, a bamboo cane is enough support.
If you are growing a cordon or espalier, you will need to install training wires to support them.
Remember to water establishing apple trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Apple Tree Planting Accessories:
For bush and half standard apple trees, our tree planting pack includes a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a biodegradable mulch mat with pegs, which protects the soil at the base of your tree from drying out and stops weeds from sprouting.
We recommend using mycorrhizal “friendly fungi” on the roots of all new trees, especially if your soil is poorly fertile.