Red Pixie or Pixie Red Sport apple trees are, you guessed it, a sport of the Pixie apple tree. The only difference between them is the colour of the skin - the fruit are rare in the shops, probably due to their size, but can often be found in farmer's markets. As the name suggests, Red Pixies are a small to medium sized apple with a warm orange-red flush over most of their skin. The flesh is more firm than crisp, with a powerful sweet-sharp flavour and lovely rich aroma that can compete with a Cox - they are certainly juicier. They should be ready to pick in the middle of October and reach their best flavour after a few weeks of storage and ripening. Stored in a cool dry place, they will keep until March.
Red Pixie's History and Parentage: Sometimes, a branch of an apple tree turns out to produce fruit that are a bit different from the apples on the tree's normal branches. These are called sports and a skillful grower can take a cutting to graft onto a rootstock, creating a new breed of tree, also known as a sport. In most cases, the sport's fruit have a richer colour than their parent's fruit - the tree itself tends to be almost identical to the parent. Even though the parent tree, Pixie, came from the RHS centre at Wisley, we don't know what its parents were. One of them was probably a Cox's or a Sunset, the other is a mystery.
Pollination Partners for Malus Red Pixie: Your trees are very poorly self fertile and could fail to fruit without a pollination partner. Apple Tree Pollination table.
Rootstocks, Growing Notes and Pruning & Planting Advice:
Your trees have excellent pink flowers that make this tree as ornamental as it is productive. The tree has a spreading habit and will mature into a reliably heavy cropper. As of winter 2009, we are only able to supply Red Pixie as a maiden tree on MM106 rootstocks: with this rootstock, you have the choice of training a restricted form like a cordon or a fan, or growing a mature tree about 4 metres high.
If you are unclear about fruit tree sizes, please take a look at our Guide to Fruit Tree Sizing.
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