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By Emehc57

United Kingdom Gb

I would like to buy 2 apple trees for my son and thought maybe to choose old varieties. We live in Ayrshire in SW Scotland. Can you suggest suitable ones?



Hi. Glad you want to buy him 2 - it's amazing how many people don't realise that even when apples are described as 'self-pollinating' they do so much better with a pollinator and many of course do require a different variety, blossoming about the same time, to pollinate.

Like most edibles, apples are a personal taste and, even if you want to surprise him, perhaps you could get to know what his favourites are as a guide. Even though you are to the north of us you shouldn't have too many weather problems but if your soil is anything other than rich loam it may be an idea to check with a nursery (not a garden centre, they are not the same at all) in your area.

I grow 4 varieties, all old varieties. Granny smith (I prefer a green tart/sweet apple for every day eating) a heavy cropper round here and it has plenty of character. Cox's Orange Pippin often held to be the king of apples BUT it is not a heavy cropper and can be bothered with disease although I have never had any problem other than not being able to grow enough for the grand-kids. Egremont russet is a lovely eater but many people don't like the look of the rough skin. And lastly, Reinnette Descadres, a rather strange diploid variety that does best with 2 pollinators so is not really for a beginner. and I must admit I am not as impressed with the flavour despite good reviews. As I said - a personal thing.

The one variety that springs immediately to mind for the damp west coast is of course James Grieve. Very popular in your area and can be used as a cooker as well as a dessert variety in that it 'falls' easily when cooked. Personally I find it a touch bland but again - personal taste and it is fairly safe in your neck of the woods. But do ask around, if you see apple trees (how would anybody know at this time of year?) doing well, if you can find the owner, ask them what variety it is.

Sorry to be a bit vague but there are over 14,000 varieties of apple (honest) and growing does depend largely on taste and local conditions. Good luck and let us know which you decide on.

30 Nov, 2010


Adams Apples/Talaton Plants (google the name) and yes the owner is called Adam both the same company as such. Good list on there an heritage ones. I think they can tell you what ones are suitable for you climate etc. I use them for younger trees. Will have to wiat a few years for fruit but good strong young trees.

30 Nov, 2010


Hi there,

This is a list of the hardest apples trees around, most of them are also fairly old:

1 Dec, 2010

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