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John Downie

John Downie is one of the most popular crab-apples in the UK, featuring traditional white blossom and very attractive bright orange-red fruitlets, with a distinctive upside-down pear shape.

It is perhaps the definitive variety for making crab apple jelly, which will usually be a pale pink colour.

It grows with a more upright habit than most other crab-apple varieties, and will fit in a relatively small space.

Malus

John Downie crab-apple trees for sale

  • 11-year bare-root tree £19.95
    Large size (3m-5m after 10 years)
  • 22-year pot-grown tree £36.45
    In a 12L pot
    Large size (3m-5m after 10 years)
Next deliveries

Deliveries from September for pot grown and December for bare-rooted (where items shown in stock).

Pre-ordering

You can pre-order now for delivery when the new season starts. You won't be asked to pay until nearer the time.


How to grow

John Downie easy to grow, but somewhat prone to apple scab - although this does not affect the cooking quality of the fruit.

 

History

John Downie was raised in the 1870s by Edward Holmes, a nurseryman from Lichfield, England. He named it after his friend and fellow nurseryman John Downie.

John Downie characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Attractive featuresAttractive flowersAttractive fruit
  • Flower colourWhite
  • Leaf colour - summerGreen
  • Fruit colourOrange / Red
  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Annual cycleDeciduous
  • WildlifeRHS perfect for pollinators
  • Food usesJam / Jelly

Similar varieties

  • See also Pink Glow
    Malus baccata
    Pink Glow
    Another good variety for making crab-apple jelly, Pink Glow ripens a bit earlier in the season.

What will it look like?

Illustrative example of a pot-grown tree of this variety as supplied. Approximate girth: 6/8cm. Trees should reach their mature height after about 10 or more years. We may also have 1-year bare-root trees of this variety - they are not shown here.

Malus John Downie crab apple tree

How to choose a crab-apple tree

We list more than 40 different crab-apple trees. Choosing can be difficult! See our article explaining the different characteristics of crab-apple trees which will help you narrow down the selection.