Cobra Apple Trees
- Cooking apple. Good for eating when well ripe.
- Spur bearer (Good for cordons & espaliers)
- Not self fertile
- Pollination Group C
- Crops from September. Stores till December
Cobra Apple Trees
Cobra apple trees produce an early season cooking apple that ripens off the branch into a decent eating apple.
Characteristics of Cobra Trees:
- Use: Cooking. Once the fruit have ripened for a month or two, they become sweeter and suitable for eating raw.
- Spur Bearer: suitable for cordons & espaliers, trained on wires.
- Harvest: First apples are ready in September, crops until October.
- Store & ripen in a cool, dry place: Until December.
General description of Cobra:
This is a great new dual-purpose apple. The early fruit are used for cooking, baking to quite a firm texture with a really tangy-sharp flavour that benefits from the addition of a bit of sugar. When the fruit have ripened off the branch for at least 6 weeks, they start to sweeten and become lovely eating apples with a bracing flavour.
The tree is hardy and reliable.
All of our Cobra trees are grown on MM106 rootstocks.
Pollination Partners for Cobra:
Your trees are self sterile and their flowers must be pollinated to make fruit.
Cobra is in pollination Group C.
This means that they will cross-pollinate with other apple trees in pollination Groups B, C and D.
This tree's flowers have good frost resistance.
See our Guide to Apple Tree Pollination for a full list of partners & more tips about pollination.
History & Parentage:
Mr Hugh Ermen was an apple expert who worked for the Brogdale Trust for most of his career. He dreamt of crossing two of Britain's most popular eating and cooking apples - the Cox's orange pippin and the Bramley (the name Cobra is made up from the first letters of each parent tree).
Starting when he was 54, Mr Ermen and his wife worked on the new variety for 25 years, growing something in the order of 5,000 test trees per year before the new breed was ready. The Cobra was Mr Ermen's constant project for a third of his life and also his swan song. He passed away in late 2009, shortly after the tree was released for commercial growing.
We also have Mr Ermen to thank for these breeds of apple: Herefordshire Russet, Red Devil and Scrumptious.
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: Cobra 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 Cobra 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 is recommended for the North & Scotland because of its frost resistant flowers.
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 Cobra 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.