Malus Domestica Stark's Earliest or Apple Stark's Earliest, is the perfect fruit tree for a small garden. This early season dessert apple variety is easy to grow and will reward you with a tangy treat straight from the tree sometimes as early as July!
Discovered in the United States in Idaho in 1938, and introduced to the UK in 1944, this variety developed by the Stark Brothers of Missouri (acclaimed American fruit tree specialists) is synonymous with Scarlet Pimpernel. In April, the very fragrant clusters of white flowers cover the tree, attracting butterflies and bees to your garden. As early as July, the pleasingly tart apples, with red skins streaked with pale yellow and soft, juicy flesh, are ready to harvest, continuing into August. The apples are best eaten soon after picking, as they will only last in storage for 3 weeks and can bruise easily.
Hardy in most parts of the UK, Malus Domestica Stark's Earliest will grow to a mature height of just 6 metres in 5 to 10 years but can easily be kept to a smaller size through pruning and training. Like all apple trees, it needs an annual pruning in late winter. Malus Domestica Stark's Earliest is in pollination group 1 such as Manks Codlin, and while it is moderately self-fertile, it will reliably produce a larger crop with an early-blooming pollination partner nearby.
Plant Malus Domestica Stark's Earliest in full sun in an exposed or sheltered position in any moist but well-drained soil with a neutral pH. It will tolerate pollution, so this small apple tree can be used as a specimen tree in a city garden, where both its fragrant spring flowers and summer fruits will be welcome. Apple trees are a natural choice for an informal country garden, and Malus Domestica Stark's Earliest is no exception. Given room to grow to its full size, the multiple benefits of its spring blossoms, summer shade, and early harvest of delicious dessert apples can be enjoyed!
Malus Domestica Stark's Earliest has so much to recommend it to the UK gardener; its early apples and fragrant spring blossoms make it a great choice!