Catshead Apple Trees
- Cooking: Bakes to a medium-firm puree.
- Spur bearer (Good for cordons & espaliers)
- Not self fertile
- Not pollinator (Triploid)
- Pollination Group C
- Crops in Early October. Stores till January.
Catshead Apple Trees
Catshead apple trees produce mid season cooking apples that store well.
Characteristics of Catshead Trees:
- Cooking. Bakes to a fairly firm puree with a nice sharp flavour.
- Spur Bearer: suitable for cordons & espaliers, trained on wires.
- Tree's growth habit: Average vigour. Spreading form.
- Harvest: Early October.
- Store & ripen in a cool, dry place: Until January
General description of Catshead:
Also known as Pig's Snout, the catshead is a big cooking apple with thick skin that gives it a long shelf-life. The flavour is tangy-sharp like a Bramley, but the flesh is drier than a Bramley and has a slightly firmer texture after baking. The tree likes to spread out and crops reliably.
All of our Catshead trees are grown on MM106 rootstocks.
Pollination Partners for Catshead:
Your trees are self sterile triploids: their flowers must be pollinated to make any fruit and they cannot pollinate other trees.
Catshead is in pollination Group C.
This means that they can be pollinated by other apple trees in pollination Groups B, C and D.
See our Guide to Apple Tree Pollination for a full list of partners & more tips about pollination.
Catshead Disease notes:
Disease resistance: Scab
History & Parentage:
This ancient heritage variety has been recorded since the 1600's and was one of the first apple tree to be imported to America by the colonists.
How Apple Trees are Measured & Delivered:
Our fruit trees are delivered in up to 3 shapes and you can also buy selected apple trees as ready made cordons.
Maiden: This unbranched tree is the smallest starting size. You can train maidens into espaliers and cordons.
Cordon: Catshead trees are spur-bearers, so they can be made into cordons and espaliers.
Bush: This is a style of freestanding tree with a short trunk of about 60cm. It will grow to about 3 metres tall.
Half-Standard: This is a freestanding style that will grow into a full sized, "normal" apple tree, about 4 metres tall.
Notes on planting Catshead trees:
All fruit trees like a rich soil with decent drainage, protection from the wind and plenty of sun. Apple trees like clay soil, as long as it is not prone to bad waterlogging.
This tree could be suitable for organic growing in the more humid West and South of Britain, where scab and canker are more common.
Prepare your site before planting:
Improving the soil in advance of planting your apple trees will help them establish quickly and be productive for years to come. After you have destroyed all the weeds and grass (use Neudorff WeedFree Plus weed-killer for tough weeds), you can dig the soil over. Remove any stones and rubbish and mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.
You can do this on planting day, but when you do it weeks or months in advance, you will give the soil time to settle again.
Spacing Catshead apple trees:
Freestanding bushes: 12-18 feet (4-6 metres) between trees and rows.
Freestanding half-standards: 18-30 feet (6-10 metres) between trees and rows.
In general, allow 1 more metre between rows than there is between each tree in the row.
Wire-trained cordons can be planted in rows 60-100cms apart.
Espaliers need to be spaced at 10-18 feet (3-6 metres) apart.
Watch our video on how to plant a fruit tree for full instructions on planting a bush or half-standard sized tree.
If you are growing a maiden sized apple tree into a freestanding tree, a bamboo cane is enough support.
If you are growing a cordon or espalier, you will need to install training wires to support them.
Remember to water establishing apple trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Apple Tree Planting Accessories:
For bush and half standard apple trees, our tree planting pack includes a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a biodegradable mulch mat with pegs, which protects the soil at the base of your tree from drying out and stops weeds from sprouting.
We recommend using mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of all new trees, especially if your soil is poorly fertile.