This tree is one of the very best Malus varieties for crab apple jelly due to the size, flavour and pectin level of its fruit. Malus 'John Downie' produces a mass of large, plum-like, red and yellow flushed apples that mature early but last well into the winter. Earlier in the year, a blanket of white flowers open from pink buds which are very popular amongst bees, making it a useful pollinator for apple trees. Foliage is mid-green with good autumn colour in fiery shades of yellow, bronze and orange.
This fruiting Malus tree has an upright habit when young and arches in maturity, reaching an estimated height and spread of 5 x 3 metres in 20 years. Also known as a Flowering Crab Apple tree, 'John Downie' is suited to most conditions but thrives in moist, well-drained soil. A really beautiful tree that is deservedly popular.
This variety has large crab apples ideal for culinary use, so is sold with zero VAT.
AKA Crab Apple John Downie, Flowering Crab Apple, Fruiting Crab Apple tree
Our pot grown Crab Apple John Downie trees can be planted at any time of the year. Start by removing weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole. Dig a square hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 2-3x as wide. To help the tree establish more effectively, sprinkle root grow in the hole.
Remove the pot, gently loosen the roots and place in the planting hole. Mix 50% of the original soil with 50% compost, fill in the hole and firm around gently. Avoid banking the soil up around the collar of the tree. We recommend planting John Downie Crab Apples with a stake and tie kit to anchor the roots - instructions are in the planting guide.
If you’re planting John Downie in spring or summer, water well for the first few months. Increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If planting in autumn, you may only need to water a little. Our range of watering kits make it easier.
Once planted, keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons. If your area is prone to rabbits, use a rabbit guard. You can harvest the Crab Apples in early autumn or leave them for birds to enjoy.
John Downie Crab Apple trees can be pruned in winter. They do not require hard pruning and you should not trim the tips of crab apple branches. Simply remove any dead or damaged branches and shoots at the base of the tree i.e. suckers and water sprouts which redirect energy resources from the main stem but do not produce strong branches.
1 small tree (most under 1.5 metres in height) : £9.95 + vat
1 medium tree (most 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £11.95 + vat
2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £14.95 + vat
1-4 trees delivered by pallet to kerbside (inc. mature Japanese Maples): 24.95 + vat
Mature trees, pleached trees or orders too large for pallet: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode not quantity. Starts from £48 + vat.
The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process. Please note, we are unable to deliver outside of Mainland UK.
All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team and most are delivered within 3 weeks of placing the order, unless stated otherwise. There's no need to be in to receive your order and you can request where it is left via the checkout.
For pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height), we group orders together by geographic area for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers about the delivery date.
Trees on pre-order are still growing and an estimate of when they will be ready is on the product/basket page. Orders are despatched once all trees are ready.
Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.
To collect trees, please book an appointment. Delivery charges will be refunded.
The product table at the bottom of the page gives the forms and sizes available for this variety. Please note, photos are a guideline as all plants are unique. *Pot sizes may vary. Below are definitions of terms:
Supplied Size: Height measured from the top of the pot.
Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.
Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.
Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.
Multi Stem: A multi stem tree has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system.
Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.
Clump: Several plants in one pot that can give the appearance of a multi stemmed and very bushy tree.
Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.
Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branches of the crown). Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height:
Standard either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard 10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard 12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height
|Plant Specification||Form||Supplied Size||Root type||Price||Quantity Qty|
|Single Stem Tree||150-200cm||10L pot*||£64.99 (VAT Free)|
|Heavy Standard Tree, 12-14cm girth||approx 3.5-4.5m||45L pot*||£219.99 (VAT Free)|
|Feathered Tree, 14-16cm girth||approx 4.5-6.0m||45L pot*||£259.99 (VAT Free)|