Bramley Apple Clone 20

Sn0W

Shohin
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I picked up this tree from Gumtree for a tenner. First I thought it would make some nice bonsai with a few air layers but I'm not so sure it's suitable. I wrote off the main trunk because of the huge scar I think may be a graft and also because it looks like someone's peeled the bark away from the base like they were going to layer it. Can normal apple trees be used for bonsai? Are they size dependant? The tree is about 3ft high and around 8 years old.
Picture from ad:
Bramley Clone 20.JPG

Once I got it home:
Bramley Clone 20A.jpg

Trunk:
Bramley Clone 20B.jpg
 

Solaris

Shohin
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It's rather likely to be a graft; most apples are. Bramleys are excellent cookers - I'd be sorely tempted to let this thing grow as a fruiting tree. I have a dozen or so apple trees on dwarfing and semi-dwarfing rootstock that I'm planning on turning into six- or eight-hand trees just so they can continue fruiting for me.

From my reading, M. pumila does reasonably well in bonsai. It will also develop a nice, rugged bark with age, so I wouldn't let a scar like that graft scar deter me over-much from trying it... assuming you're willing to let this thing go for a few years to develop that bark. What I'd watch out for, though, is the scion outgrowing the root. You can see what may be the beginnings of that. I'd just put it in the ground and raise it for fruit.
 

Sn0W

Shohin
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Option B is stick it in a nice big decorative pot and give it to my parents as a fruiting tree. We had an apple tree in the garden growing up but a year or so ago it had to be cut down because of a long running fungal issue, I think this would make a nice replacement
 

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