Are you looking for apple varieties to plant in your new or restored orchard? Your selection will be influenced by function and taste.
By looking here you have already decided to select varieties which are mostly grown only in the SW of England. If you want modern, ‘international’ or varieties developed for commercial growing in other parts of the country please look elsewhere; many excellent nurseries list such fruit.
What is your orchard for? Most traditional Devon orchards were planted with cider in mind, and more discerning cider-makers have a balanced mixture of varieties (bittersharps, sharps, bittersweets and sweets) to suit their taste. Have a look at Collogett Pippin, Crimson King, Fair Maid of Devon, Hangy Down, Harry Masters Jersey, Major, Morgan Sweet, Sops in Wine, Sweet Alford, Sweet Bay, Sweet Cleave, Sweet Coppin, Tom Putt, Tremlett’s Bitter, Yarlington Mill. Connoisseurs will want to look at Brown’s Apple, Kingston Black and Porters Perfection. Some ‘all purpose’ apples can be used for cider, eating and cooking e.g. Tom Putt, but although traditionally many cider apples have no other use, some do produce good tasting juice.
You may want to make juice, where individual taste and blending is important. Single varietal juice is also an option. Look at the following varieties: Ben’s Red, Black Dabinett, Cornish Pine, Devonshire Quarrendon, Northwood, Lucombe’s Pine, Ponsford, Pear Apple and for a pink juice try Jonny Voun aka Devon Crimson Queen or Devonshire Quarrendon.
If you are selecting varieties to eat or cook remember that one standard tree will produce a lot of fruit, so plan a sequence of production, don’t be bothered about ‘shy’ croppers, and have some to store. In addition to the juicing apples look at Adam’s Pearmain, Annie Elizabeth, Ashmead’s Kernel, Cornish Gilliflower, Exeter Cross, Lord Lambourne, Mother and Upton Pyne. They are all characterful apples although not Devon apples, should perform well in Devon.
There has been a remarkable revival of interest in Devon’s traditional orchards over the last two decades.
Many varieties of fruit specially suited to Devon had nearly disappeared. Thanks to the efforts of local groups and individuals many varieties have been located and preserved.
For the first time they have been listed here in a comprehensive directory of fruit varieties.
This website is happily provided and maintained by Orchards Live.
Orchards Live is a group established by North Devon enthusiasts in 1991. The Group offers practical help (courses, information, equipment etc) to orchard owners in the area.
However, the website flourishes thanks to contributions from all over Devon and further afield. It is intended to become a regional resource and so contributions of information and assistance are welcome. In the course of time more technical information will be made available.
The Directory is concerned mostly with apples, but cherries and plums are also included.
It is devised so that you can browse alphabetically by fruit name. If you don’t know a name then scroll through the list to find a specific variety.
Full descriptions, with information on growing and using named apples. Lists of apples for the orchard newcomer to consider.