Gloucester apple tree: photo and description of the variety, especially planting and care, reviews of gardeners

Gloucester is one of the first commercial apple varieties specially created for intensive industrial gardening on dwarf rootstocks. These beautiful dark red apples immediately attract attention and can be stored until spring in specially equipped temperature-controlled storages.

Gloucester - winter grade apple trees for commercial gardening

The Gloster variety was bred in Germany in the middle of the last century and became widespread in Europe after its success at the 1969 agricultural exhibition.

Gloucester is a Western European commercial apple variety

This is an apple of late ripening (winter consumption), intended for fresh consumption.

Grade Gloucester unsuitable for home canning and processing.

Large and very beautiful apples of this variety have a uniform dark red color. Their average weight is from 150 to 180 grams, a conical shape with a noticeable ribbing, the taste is very pleasant sweet and sour.

Gloucester apples are very beautiful

This variety was originally intended for cultivation on dwarf dwarf rootstocks in intensive type trellis gardens. Harvest from one tree reaches 20-30 kilograms, fruiting is annual without periodicity. The first fruits appear in the second - third year after planting.

Gloucester reacts very poorly to formation errors: its natural overgrownness combined with an acute angle of branching from the trunk leads to the formation of dangerous forks, and in the future, young trees often break under the weight of the crop.

Without timely formation and support, Gloucester apple trees often break under the weight of the crop.

The Gloucester cultivar is partially self-fertile, but with cross-pollination the yield will be four to five times higher. It is a good pollinator for other varieties of apple trees. It blooms late and long, which reduces the risk of damage to the flowers by return frosts.

Low trellis of apple trees can be covered with agrofiber in case of a threat of freezing

Advantages and disadvantages of the Gloucester variety - table

Great presentation of applesLow winter hardiness
Annual fruitingThe need for a dwarf stock
Good mobility after harvestThe complexity of tree formation
High resistance to powdery mildewSignificant scab damage
Partial self-fertility, good inter-pollination with other varietiesDifficulty storing fruits

Gloucester is an intensive cultivar requiring care

Features of cultivation and subtleties of care

Gloucester is a heat-loving southern apple variety that requires a mild climate and a long growing season. Its trees are severely damaged by frost already at -20 ° C.

It is absolutely useless to try to plant Gloucester variety north of Kiev and Volgograd: it will freeze almost every year, and apples still will not have time to ripen normally due to too short a summer.

For planting an apple orchard, you need to choose a place well-lit by the sun with protection from cold winds. A slight slope for ventilation is desirable in order to reduce damage by frost and fungal diseases. You cannot plant apple trees in moist lowlands with groundwater closer than one and a half meters from the surface of the earth. The soil needs a fertile, slightly acidic or neutral reaction. A reliable source of water for irrigation is required.

Planting Gloucester apple trees

Apple trees are planted in rows along trellises, which are arranged in a direction from north to south. The distance between the trellises is 3-4 meters, between the trees in a row 2-3 meters. Extreme poles with a height of about 3-4 meters are buried in the ground at least a meter and reinforced with concrete. It is more convenient to lay poles in the fall before planting, and pull the wire next spring.

Apple trees on a shallow rootstock should be grown on a trellis

Without a trellis, it will only get worse: under each bent branch you will have to drive a separate peg to secure it. An intricate system of pegs and ropes around a tree creates a traumatic situation in any gardening job: digging, spraying, harvesting. My grandfather once experimented with dwarf apple trees without trellis, the result was very sad - it is very inconvenient to care for them.

In the southern horticultural zone, it is best to plant an apple tree in late September - early October, so that spring can begin to form.

Step-by-step instructions for landing:

  1. Pull a temporary rope between the trellis posts to mark the rows.
  2. Mark the landing sites and remove the rope so as not to interfere.
  3. At the landing site, dig a hole with a diameter of 1 meter and a depth of 50-60 centimeters.

    Landing pits are more convenient to dig before pulling the trellis wire

  4. Mix the ground from the pit with a bucket of completely decomposed humus.
  5. Place the seedling in the pit, spreading its roots to the sides.

    Sapling roots during planting should be evenly spread to the sides

  6. Fill the hole with soil so that all the roots are closed, and the grafting site (a bend with a thickening on the stem, located slightly above the roots) rises above the soil surface by at least 3-5 cm.
  7. Pour 2 buckets of water under the seedling.

    After planting, the seedling must be watered

Trees on dwarf rootstocks do not need to align the root neck with a centimeter accuracy when planting, but throughout the life of the tree it is necessary to ensure that the grafting site remains above the soil level.

Seedlings on a dwarf rootstock have a shallow and very branched root system

Tree Care After Planting

If the autumn is long, warm and dry, freshly planted seedlings should be watered after a week with a bucket of water for each.

In the spring, immediately after the snow melts, it is necessary to check the depth of planting of seedlings and, if necessary, to correct it by picking up the earth to the stem or raking it to the sides. After that, the wire is pulled onto the trellis in 3-4 parallel rows and the formation begins:

  • All dried and broken must be cut out completely.
  • The branches located in the plane of the trellis must be bent down and fixed so that the angle of their departure from the trunk is at least 60 degrees.
  • Branches that are knocked out of a row should be cut at the base and cover the sections with garden var.
  • Shorter branches should be avoided so as not to provoke the growth of competing shoots.

The branches are tied to the trellis so that the angle of their departure from the trunk is at least 60 degrees

In hot, dry weather, for apple orchards on a dwarf rootstock, watering is required up to 2-3 times a month, 2 buckets of water per square meter. Optimal drip irrigation, economically consuming water.

Drip irrigation - the best solution for arid regions

The soil under the trees should be kept loose and clean from weeds. It can be mulched with organic or agrofibre to preserve moisture.

Starting from the second year after planting, each spring during shallow digging, fertilizers are applied evenly over the entire area in the following quantity per square meter:

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  • 20-30 g of ammonium nitrate,
  • 40-50 g of superphosphate,
  • 20–25 g of potassium sulfate.

Dwarf rootstocks have a very shallow root system, so digging and loosening the soil are permissible to a depth of not more than 10 centimeters.

Difficulties in harvesting and storing Gloucester apples

Gloucester is a winter ripening variety. Harvesting depending on the weather and the region takes place from late September to mid-October. It is very important to correctly determine the moment of ripening fruit maturity: the seeds must fully ripen and become dark brown, while the flesh must remain greenish-white, juicy and hard. Even a little overripe apples on a tree are stored very poorly, they quickly brown from the inside, become loose and tasteless. Unripe fruits remain acidic.

In overripe apples, the flesh turns brown and becomes tasteless

With proper collection and storage, Gloucester fruits reach their best taste in November. In an industrial storage with a low oxygen content and an increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a constant temperature of + 2 ° C, they are stored until spring.

Under normal living conditions, such parameters are unattainable, and the shelf life is significantly reduced.

In my opinion, Gloucester is a great apple for the seller, but not for the consumer. The luxurious gift appearance of these apples too often hides internal defects: a blackened or even moldy seed chamber, loose browned flesh, and a bitter taste.

Diseases and Pests

The Gloucester variety has increased resistance to powdery mildew, but is often affected by scab and fruit rot. Of the pests, the most dangerous moth and blood aphid.

Diseases and pests and control measures - table

TitleDescriptionHow to fight
ScabSmall rounded dark spots appear on the fruits and leaves. Conduct three sprayings with the drug Scor:
  1. when the buds open,
  2. when buds appear
  3. immediately after flowering
Fruit rotWeeping brown spots with a putrid odor appear on apples
MothThe caterpillars of this butterfly make apples wormy. There are two generations per season, so re-treatments with chemicals are mandatory Carry out four sprayings with Actellic:
  1. when the buds open,
  2. when buds appear
  3. immediately after flowering,
  4. in the middle of July
Blood aphidWhite-pubescent small insects that leave a red spot when crushed

Apple tree diseases and pests - photo gallery

Affected scab apples lose their presentation

Excessive rain contributes to fruit rot development

Apple codling moth - a nondescript gray butterfly, giving 2 generations per year

Moth caterpillars feed on the core of apples

Blood aphid hides under white fluffy shreds, like cotton wool


3 years ago, I planted this variety for myself, hoping to have my apple all winter, but alas - the variety really does not lie for a long time. This year they removed 1 box and are almost finished. Very tasty, juicy and fragrant variety.


Gloucester in the Volgograd region can be attributed to late autumn varieties. A good variety, with good taste and very productive. If you remove it in time, then it easily lies before the new year. The apple is sweet, aromatic, almost without acid, which is enough just to not consider the fruit fresh.

Alexey Sh

Gloucester has sharp angles of departure of the main branches from the stem, which is fraught with problems in the formation of the tree and breaks during the fruiting period when overloaded with the crop.


In Samara, I planted Gloucester (as the most winter-hardy of the Delicious) on a winter-hardy skeleton. In the winter of 2005–2006, vaccinations were frozen.


The ripened sweet and sour Gloucester lovers of apples with sourness like more grassy Fuji, which, although sweet, but without a twist.


Thanks to the luxurious appearance of its apples, the Gloucester variety is still very popular in the commercial gardening of the southern zone, and some experienced amateur gardeners grow it. But for an inexperienced beginner, this variety is still too capricious and can cause disappointment.


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