The growth of apples
Apples grow best in nutrient-rich, free-draining soils which must be slightly acidic. Apple trees are supplied in standard (full-size), half-standard, cordon and bush form. The cordon is ideal for a small garden, also because cordons can yield fruit as early as the third year. The size and speed of growth is determined by the rootstock onto which the tree is grafted. For example, for slightly larger trees the M9 rootstock is ideal because apple varieties on that give a substantial harvest, whilst the trees do not grow too large. There are early, intermediate and late flowering varieties and the harvest times can also vary considerably.