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Ballerina Samba® apple trees

Malus domestica
Ballerina Samba is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators

Samba is a recent Ballerina-style apple, derived from Flamenco, but crossed with the popular Falstaff apple variety.

Like all Ballerina varieties, Samba grows in a compact vertical or fastigiate fashion. However it is unusual amongst Ballerina varieties in that it also produces strong side-shoots, although these extend only a short distance before turning sharply vertical.

The flavour of Samba is amongst the best of these minarette varieties for eating fresh, and the apples can also be used for a crab-apple-style jelly.

Ballerina Samba apple trees for sale

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree M116 rootstock £26.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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  • BR21-year bare-root tree MM106 rootstock £25.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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Next deliveries

You can pre-order now for delivery from late September 2021 for pot grown trees (or late November / early December for bare-root). You do not need to pay at this stage - just add items to the basket and checkout as usual.

How to grow

Samba should reach a maximum height of about 3m / 10ft after 5 years or so - often a bit less. There is no need to stake the tree unless you have very sandy soil or a windy situation. It can also be grown in a large patio container.

After 5 years or so you can also thin out some of the fruiting spurs if they appear to be becoming congested, but try to avoid pruning (especially in winter) as pruning can spoil the columnar appearance.

When planting this variety as a 1-year bare-root tree, do not prune back the stem (contrary to what is suggested in our main planting instructions).

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Samba is one of the most recent Ballerina-style apple varieties, developed at East Malling in Kent. It was introduced in 2008. The unusual minarette-like form is inherited from one of its ancestors, a natural genetic mutation of the well-known McIntosh apple variety, called Wijcik.

Whilst all these varieties have excellent ornamental impact, the flavour of the original McIntosh Wijcik was suitable only for cooking. Samba is a cross between the popular Flamenco Ballerina variety and Falstaff - and inherits the latter's productivity and good flavour. However it is the influence of Falstaff, particularly its tendency to produce lots of branches from a young age, which explains why Samba does not grow in the pole-like fashion common to other Ballerina varieties.

Ballerina Samba characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group3
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates
  • WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators

Using

  • Picking seasonLate
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping (of fruit)2-3 weeks
  • Food usesEating freshCulinaryJuice
  • Flavour style (apples)Sweet/Sharp

Problems

  • ScabSome resistance

Climate

    Identification

    • Country of originUnited Kingdom
    • Period of origin2000
    • Fruit colourYellow / Red