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Lord Derby' Cooking Apple Tree - 9L Pot

Code: TR0078
Lord Derby' Cooking Apple Tree - 9L Pot
The Lord Derby fills a useful gap in the culinary apple calendar, arriving after the early cookers, such as Keswick Codlin and Grenadier, and before the late cookers, such as Bramley. This is not a variety for winter storage but the apples can be kept for a month or so in a cool place. The Victorian writer James Hogg, author of 'Confessions of a Justified Sinner' rated Lord Derby as an "excellent culinary apple". The flavour is nicely acidic if picked young, but milder if picked when fully ripe, at which point the skin develops a more yellow hue.


  • Flower Colour: white/pale pink
  • Foliage Colour: green
  • Approx. Growth Height: 2.4-3m
  • Rootstock: M26 - semi-dwarfing
  • Comes in a: 9L polypot (not a rigid pot)
  • Approx. Height on Arrival: 150-170cm
  • Tree is approx. 3 years old with a 1 year old rootstock
  • Flowering Period: spring (April - May)
  • Harvesting Period: November
  • Tolerance: frost tolerant, fairly drought tolerant once established
  • Growing Habit: bushy
  • Uses: eating fresh, cooking, baking
  • Self pollinating: no - (see 'Pollination' section below)
  • Hardiness: fully hardy
  • Exposure: sheltered
  • Rate of Growth: max. height in 5-10 years
  • Scented: barely
  • Wildlife friendly - attracts bees and other pollinating insects


  • Light Requirements: full sun, partial shade
  • Soil Requirements: clay, loamy, sandy
  • Moisture: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile

Caring and Maintenance

Water young trees regularly until roots are well established. Trim annually from mid to late summer. Apply some fertilizer in spring in order to promote healthy growth and a good crop. Optionally, mulch in spring. Check tree ties regularly and loosen any if necessary to avoid rubbing of the stems.


  • Planting Distance: 2.4-3.6m with 4.5m between rows

Suited to almost all well-drained and moderately fertile soils with pH between 6.5 and 7.5 in a sheltered, full sun or partial shade location.
Before planting your tree, clean up all wandering weeds and keep a clean ring around the tree base. Water well during the first year until well established.

Autumn is the best season for planting fruiting trees, as the soil moisture and heat allow easier and faster root establishment and regeneration of damaged root systems.


  • Pollination Group: 5

Fruit trees will only produce fruit if their flowers have been pollinated. This is usually done by flying insects such as honey bees, bumblebees, flies, wasps etc. This tree is not self pollinating so it therefore requires another tree nearby of the same fruit species, but of a different variety, that flowers during the same period. The two trees will have to be near each other for the pollination process to be successful. The general consensus is that the two trees should be within 18m (55ft) of each other. To make things slightly easier, fruit trees are categorised into different pollination groups. Just remember that the fruit must be of the same species but of a different variety; only an apple tree can pollinate another apple tree. However, if you buy two 'Lord Derby' trees they will not pollinate each other.

The pollination groups are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, according to flowering time. Best results will be obtained if one variety is planted near another apple tree of the same group. In the UK, because of our longer spring, you can also choose a partner from a group on either side (so an ideal pollination partner for group 5 would be one in group 4, 5 or 6).

Fruit Benefits

These fruits taste best when freshly picked from their branches. They please even the most sophisticated of palates, and can be made into jams and preserves to bring great summer memories on autumn or winter days. Fruit plants are a valuable addition to any garden, bearing in mind that they do not only provide fruits, but also make a bold statement in garden arrangements by producing clouds of pink and white flowers, which at the slightest breeze fall like raindrops. When planning your garden, try to choose varieties with fruits that ripen from early summer to late autumn to ensure a constant supply of fresh fruits throughout the warmer months.

Fruit Tree Rootstocks

Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by the nursery, this means the roots of the tree are a different plant to the trunk, branches and fruit. Effectively sticking two plants together, one that has good roots and one that has good fruit, ensures that you get what you pay for. Plants raised from seed will vary from the parent plants and there will be a wide variation in the size or shape of a tree and the quality and quantity of fruit it produces. Another result of budding and grafting a variety onto selected rootstocks is the ability to control the size of the tree to a certain degree. However, the size that a fruit tree ultimately grows to is dependent on a number of factors:

  • The fruit variety ( i.e. Apple Braeburn)
  • How itís pruned
  • Soil type
  • Position
  • Its rootstock
Some varieties of tree are naturally more vigorous than others, so this will affect how much they grow each year. For instance a Bramley Apple seedling will naturally grow bigger than a Coxís Orange Pippin Apple seedling. The correct pruning will also help to control the size of tree, as well as encouraging it to produce flower buds from which fruit develop.

Where you grow your fruit tree and the soil it is growing in also impacts on its ability to grow and thus eventual size. Most fruit trees need a good amount of sunshine to grow well and for the fruit to ripen with high sugar content. Trees growing in cold, open spots will grow slower than those that are protected and warm. The same is true for the soil, with trees growing in light sandy soils generally growing more slowly and not reaching such a large size as those in rich fertile soils which will be more vigorous and taller growing.

Optional Extras
  • Fruit Tree Grease Band - 1.75m
    Add +
  • Fruit Tree Greasebands - 1.75m
    Add +
Selected items will be included with your purchase

This is an example of our polypot - note the fruit/ornamental trees we stock will vary in appearance according to species and season.
Customer Reviews

Average Rating: 5.0/5 (2 reviews)

Rating: 5/5

"A difficult to find species in a pot at a good price"

Reviewed Friday, 4 December 2015

Rating: 5/5

"The tree arrived looking in good condition and it is now growing well"

Reviewed Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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