Worcestershire has a rich heritage as a fruit growing area and as a result many fruit tree varieties - apples, plums and pears have arisen in the county. Some have become widely well known ie Worcester Pearmain, William Crump. Others are less well known, but still of good quality.
Below are offered a range of apple trees originating in Worcestershire along with a few from neighbouring counties of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. These varieties now include a new variety rediscovered in 2012 - 'Martin Nonpareil'. Most are offered on semi dwarfing M26 & more vigorous M25 rootstocks. Read below and visit Worcestershire orchards website for more information on the counties orchard heritage.
Discount information - the following discounts apply on total order value, excluding carriage. 5% on 5+ trees, 10% on 10+ trees. Carriage based on quantity - see the Delivery page for more details.
Apple trees are dispatched between late November and early April when dormant.
Having ordered we will reserve and confirm your order before being in contact as soon as we can during the dormant season to arrange delivery or collection.
Really a cooking apple. Late ripening but supeseded by Newton Wonder and now Bramley. Flattish in shape, yellow skin flushed red on sunny side and distinct ribbing around base.More Info
A pleasant dual purpose apple that keeps a long time. Flattish in shape with pale green skin that flushes greatly brownish red. Named after the village of its origin near Worcester. Became widely known in 1890s but then lost. Recent research has led to rediscovery of several old local trees and so its re-introduction.More Info
A mid season dessert apple named after a village near Malvern. The medium sized roundish apples are prominantly ribbed. The skin is greatly red flushed all over and the white flesh is juicy & rich in flavour.More Info
A very early dessert apple best eaten off the tree from late July. Very good flavour, sweet and juicy. Surface almost all covered deep or brick red. Medium sized apples round conical with some broad ribbing. Originated about 1780 but renamed in 1883 after the then Prime MinisterMore Info
A late dessert apple said to be an established variety from the county sometimes refered to as just Purnells. The apples in August appear a bright green, yet by late October develop rich red and orange streaks resembling a quite different apple. The flesh is firm, creamy and fine, juicy and sweet. Rootstock: M25More Info
A medium sized round conical dessert apple. Of very appealing flavour, said by some to have a hint of wine.. Skin bright green turning yellow as it ripens. First came to attention in 1998 in Pershore, Worcs as a tree that had developed unnoticed from seed. Named after the then owner of the property. Rootstock: M26, M25More Info
Hope Cottage Seedling
An early season dessert apple best enjoyed fresh from the tree. The ripe fruits have a firm flesh with a sub acid flavour and are best from early September. They do not keep a long time so are best consumed shortly after picking. Rootstock M26 & M25.More Info
King Charles Pearmain
A conical shaped dessert apple with brownish golden coloured skin covered with russet. Has a dryish nutty flavour but sweet with some sharpness. May also be known as Rushock Pearmain.More Info
Said to have a hint of coffee when eaten, but this is often difficult to detect. Medium sized flat round apples. Skin flushed mostly deep red with obvious lenticels on dark background. Rootstock: M26 & M25More Info
Produces quite large tall angular red flushed apples. Richly flavoured, slightly aromatic apples. Raised at Madresfield Court near Malvern, Worcestershire probably by the Head gardener William Crump.More Info
A good dessert apple, medium in size, yellowish green skin is speckled with brown russet spots. Somewhat angular on its sides. Has a rich flavour, juicy and sweet. Recently rediscovered the variety seems to come into bearing very quickly producing apples in its second year with us.More Info
A compact growing tree producing bright red medium sized flattish apples that have yellow flesh and are crisp, juicy & of good flavour. A good keeper lasting into the New year. 1888 Worcs.More Info
Some Worcestershire apples have become nationally well known and are offered on the main apple pages - dessert or culinary. These are as follows:
At present we are growing 26 Worcestershire apple varieties, and in collaboration with the recently formed Three Counties Traditional Orchard Project are growing for supply to orchard projects in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire & Herefordshire five more old Worcestershire varieties - Chatley's Pippin, Dewdulip Seedling, Haughty's Red, Jones's Seedling & Queen Alexandra.
Some varieties described in old publications have disappeared whereas a few have been rediscovered ie 'Newland Sack', 'Chatley's Kernel' and very recently 'Martin Nonpareil'. The latter rediscovery has been the result of of efforts by the County Council's Countryside to find if some of the counties 'lost' varieties still exist. Other still 'lost' varieties include Pitmaston Golden Pippin, Pigeon Heart, Red Splash and others.
We also grow a couple of Worcestershire pear varieties - Worcester Black Pear, a very old culinary pear that is represented on the counties coat of arms and Pitmaston Duchess - a large dessert pear. Both varieties are detailed on the Pear pages.
WORCESTERSHIRE ORCHARDS - A BRIEF HISTORY
Worcestershire has a heritage of growing fruit that largely co-incides with the industrialisation of the UK and the advent of the railways. Increasing urban popualations in Birmingham, Bristol & south Wales needed food and railways provided the means of getting it there. From the mid 1850s Worcestershire's small individual orchards changed in a short time to much larger commercial orchards.
The 1870s until early 1900s saw great expansion in fruit growing in the county with certain areas specialising - apples in the Teme Valley, Cherries in the north of the county around the Wyre Forest. Plums in the Vale of Evesham with Yellow Egg, Pershore Purple being extensively grown along with other UK varieties. Various new varieties arose from breeding and as chance seedlings, many of which we grow. Some have become well known throughout the UK, others just known within the area they arose and a few disappearing altogether in time.
The demise of large scale orcharding came after the second world war. The development of road transport and decline of the railways meant orchards could be grown in other areas, the rural labour force reduced and with the UK joining the EU came cheaper imported fruit. Many orchards were grubbed out from the 1970s & 80s, with about 85% having disappeared since then.
Remnants of larger orchards still remain. Some are still commercially viable. Other orchards, mainly of apples, have been developed growing commercial varieties on dwarf rootstocks in the counties fertile soils to compete with imports from abroad. There has also been a revival of interest in orchards of the recent past to retain what is left for local production and their considerable flora & fauna value. Local Festivals such as for Cherries in Bewdley and the August Plum Festival in the Vale of Evesham have increased the awareness of the counties fruit growing heritage.