The best pillar apple varieties

The best pillar apple varieties

Be careful when buying: not every columnar apple is actually one

But before you reach for the first available columnar apple in your local garden center, beaming with joy, take a good look at the plant label. Not everything that is called a "pillared apple" is actually one. Quite the opposite: Sometimes the supposedly columnar growing variety is a completely normal apple tree that is only kept slim through targeted pruning measures. If you stop cutting, it will develop normally and form a crown. You can recognize real columnar apples by these features:

  • grows upright
  • develops little or no side shoots
  • only minor cutting measures necessary
  • Flowers and fruits sit directly on the trunk
  • becomes a maximum of about 400 centimeters high

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The best varieties

The first generation of columnar apples is also known as “ballerina”, they have quite dance-like names like 'Polka', 'Flamenco' or 'Bolero'. Today, however, these varieties are no longer in competition with the new varieties in terms of taste, disease resistance and yield.

varietyStaturecolourHarvest timeAromaShelf lifeparticularities
Red River300 - 400 cmredSeptember Octoberfinely sourYesself-fertile, abundant, fungus-resistant
Redcats300 - 400 cmredMid to late Septembersweet and sourlowrobust, resistant to many diseases
Gold cats300 - 400 cmyellowfrom mid-Septembersweet and sourYesrobust, resistant to many diseases
Starcats300 - 400 cmbright redSeptember to Decembercrispy, sweet and sourYesrobust, resistant to many diseases
Berbat200 - 300 cmredMid-September to mid-Novembermostly sweetlowrobust, sufficiently bearing
Black McIntosh300 - 400 cmdark redMid-September to the end of Novemberjuicy, mildlownoticeably dark fruit color
Gold cheeksup to 300 cmRed YellowOctobercrisp, juicy, balancedconditionallyvery slim growth
rhapsody300 - 400 cmRed GreenOctober-Decemberdelicately sour, juicyYespretty tough
Jarle300 - 400 cmredSeptember - Novembercrisp and sweetYesfruit in the first year
sonata300 - 400 cmRed YellowSeptember-Novemberjuicy, sweetconditionallygreat taste
rondo300 - 400 cmgreen yellowSeptember-Novembersour-sweet, juicyconditionallyresistant to many diseases
Jucunda300 - 400 cmred-flamedfrom the beginning of Octoberjuicy, sour-sweetYesscab-resistant


Like all apple trees, columnar apples also prefer a sunny location. If the tree is too dark, it will produce few or no flowers.