Apples: News, 2013


Nothing to do with apples, but I had to share this; one of the most astonishing photographs I've ever seen; a picture of a bug snoozing in a water-droplet, taken by my friend Dick Jones. Look closely ....... and for a more detailed image, click the thumbnail. Thanks, Dick, for permission to display it.

bug snoozing in a water droplet

07 Nov 2014

Here's a close-up of the newly-released apple Surprize, being sold by Tesco. More about this on the Surprize page.


24 Sep 2014

I was interested to read in one of the national newspapers a mention of a new apple release from Tescos, called Surprize (sic). This is a new redfleshed apple. No clues about the parentage, but it appears to be an Etter-type, with green skin. The interior looks similar to Redlove but the skin is green, so it's clearly an Etter-type apple; brown pips and unpigmented wood and leaves. Picture below:

surprize, new redfleshed apple from Tesco stores

16 Sep 2014

I am sorry to report the arrival, in force, of a new apple pest in Leicestershire: apple sawfly. This is a much more serious pest than many growers suspect. 90% of my fruit is affected. Some serious spraying will be needed next spring to try to prevent a recurrence. The symptoms are superficially the same as codling moth, but more severe. A hole appears in the fruit; infected apples somtimes drop at an early stage, but many of them grow to almost full size and then rot on the tree.

Locally the pest is in most gardens; there will be few apples to store over the winter. My own apples will be gone well before Christmas; usually they last until May. The only thing I can do with most of them is make cider or dried fruit before they rot.

The warm summer weather has also accelerated the fruit ageing process and apples usually ready in mid-October are falling off the trees a month early.

13 Sep 2014

Showing the selection of fruits available in mid-August: Clockwise from top: Rosette, Laxton's Fortune, Scarlet Surprise, fruit from a flowering plum, and Devonshire Quarrenden.

20 Aug 2014

First apples of the season; fully ripe on 12 July 2014. I am not sure of the variety; they look quite like Discovery. The tree was made from a scion from an old pink-fleshed apple tree found on Castle Donington allotments, Leicestershire, in 2011. Any suggestions?

apples on tree grafted from old pink-fleshed apple tree on castle donington allotments

13 Jul 2014

UPDATE....after doing some research and contacting some apple growing friends I am fairly certain that this is Irish Peach.

Last apples of the season - "Christmas Pink"; to our surprise, sweet and juicy and still firm on 10 July 2014, after ordinary cellar storage. This time there is only a faint hint of pink flesh in the fruit. They were picked last November. This is the longest-storing eating apple we've seen. Previous longest-storing apple retaining reasonable taste was Burford Yellow; still good on June 15 a few years ago.

christmas pink apple on 10 Jul 2014

11 Jul 2014

shield bug eggs.... shield bug eggs
An amazing geometric pattern found in the garden on the underside of a leaf of a redfleshed apple tree. My friend Steph identified these insect eggs as belonging to a shield bug.

12 Jun 2014


Brogdale has had its apple tested to see which ones are triploid (51 chromosomes) and which are diploid (34 chromosomes).

What follows is not a complete list of triploids, but it includes the common and a few of the not-so-common triploids likely to be found in gardens in England.

If you have one of these, it will usually improve the crop if a pollinator is present.

Some of the triploids below, e.g. Bramley, will set a reasonable crop on their own. The effectiveness of triploid pollens on some triploid and diploid trees is shown here and here .

Another interesting observation: the apple variety 'Cobra', was bred by Hugh Ermen using Bramley pollen to pollinate a Cox.

There are several short pieces on pollination listed on the articles page.

Bulmer's Norman
Belle de Boskoop
Bramley & Crimson Bramley
Bloody Butcher
Beauty of Kent
Blenheim Orange
Claygate Pearmain
Doctor Hogg
Isaac Newton's Tree
Morgan Sweet (cider)
Norfolk Beefing
Reinette du Canada
Reinette Gris du Canada
Tom Putt
Warner's King
Winter Pearmain

12 Jun 2014

23rd April: Ribston, Laxton's Fortune & Allen's Everlasting (Ireland).
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
23rd April: Tom Putt, Croft Late & Witney Deerpark Apple.
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
23rd April: Huonville Crab (Australia), Wyggeston and D'arcy Spice.
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
22nd April: Langton's Nonesuch, Park Farm and Wickson (America).
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
21st April: Purple Wave (ornamental), Christmas Pink, Burford Yellow.
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
20th April: Durrant's apple, Rubaiyat, Martin's Custard..
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
17th April: Hidden Rose (Aerlie Redflesh), Pink Pearmain, Grenadine.
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
14th April: Devonshire Quarrenden, Hall's Pink, Scarlet Surprise.
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
12th April: Maypole, Eden Crab, Burford's Redflesh .
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
10th April: Purple Radish (Germany), Dubbelman (Sweden), Christmas Pink (Etter) .
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
9th April: George's Red, Pink Pearl, Castle Donington redfleshed.
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project
9th April: Mott's Pink, Webster Pinkmeat, Redlove Circe.
apple blossoms, leicestershire heritage apple project

Blossom is early this year; about two and a half weeks earlier than average. Last year was late by the same margin, so we are five weeks earlier than last year.

First blossom this year was the redfleshed Castle Donington apple (probably 'Sops in Wine or similar) and the redfleshed variety we obtained from George Humphrey, years ago, from Roundbush, Essex. The variety is unknown, but comes from a 120-year old tree on a parish boundary, and we have christened it 'George's Red'. First flowers this year were on 6th April:

redfleshed apple, early blossom, George's Red

6 Apr 2014

Interesting to see that 927 people referred to the article about chimeras on 23 March.

30 Mar 2014

Paul has supplied a large number of seeds (see 2013 page) from a redfleshed apple tree he found in Cheshire.

These will not breed true, but it will be interesting to see what the seedlings are like. The apples are, for a redfleshed variety, larger and darker than normal.

20 Mar 2014

We have been sent some apple seeds by Ron Kley of the Vaughan Homestead Foundation. They are from Benjamin Vaughan's old Black Oxford apple tree at the Vaughan homestead in Hallowell, Maine. Apple seeds do not breed true, but we will sow them and see what happens. Any interesting-looking seedlings will be kept and grafted. Many thanks, Ron.

15 Feb 2014

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