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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.

John Downie crab-apple trees for sale

  • 11-year bare-root tree £25.00
    Large size (3m-5m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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  • 22-year pot-grown tree £44.50
    In a 12L pot
    Large size (3m-5m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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Next deliveries

Deliveries from 26th October for pot grown and December for bare-rooted (where items shown in stock).


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 colourGreen
  • Fruit colourOrange / Red
  • Food usesJam / Jelly
  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • WildlifeRHS perfect for pollinators
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

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.