- 23 Jul 2010
Cox isn't easy to grow and has more than its fair share of problems.....but......To some extent it depends on whether there are any other diseased trees nearby to act as a source of infection. If you have a commercial orchard of Cox's nearby (or a diseased Cox tree in a nearby garden), you have no hope of avoiding the diseases blowing on the wind.
Cox prefers a warm, fairly dry climate. I also have a suspicion that it performs better and has a better chance of being a little healthier when on a soil of a slightly higher pH than is usually considered "ideal" for apples; pH 6.5-7.5, rather than the usual pH 6.0-7.0. In a cool location, on a cold, wet, heavy, acid soil it will struggle.
I would also pay attention to the rootstock which it is grafted to, and how that rootstock will interact with the pH, depth, fertility and moisture-retention of your soil. A good soil, or a stronger rootstock is better able to supply the tree with what it needs, so is likely to be a little healthier - assuming that your soil won't make the tree get too large.
If you opt to replace your tree, I would suggest looking at some of the relatively less common types. The less a variety is grown, the less chance the diseases have to find ways to get past any disease resistance. Eventually, if grown country-wide, any variety, no matter how resistant, will eventually lose its resistance as the diseases find ways around its resistance.
Also, if you replace the tree, you may have only a limited selection available to you, so if you want alternates, it might be better to list what you have to choose from.