Ask Gerry: How to grow: Fruit: Apples

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One apple tree

I have space in my garden for an apple tree but I am told that one is no good as it will need a pollinator beside it. Is this essential?

If you live in an urban area, there will be plenty of apple trees, fruiting kind or flowering kind, that will be available to pollinate  your tree.  It is perfectly possible to plant just one tree in these circumstances and a good variety to  use  would be 'Discovery', a lovely red apple that ripens in late August.