If you know the name of your apple go directly to the Alphabetical list, and choose an apple from the list. Alternatively you can use the search facility at the top of every page - just type in the apple name or anything else you might like to search on and press enter/return. You can search on just part of an apple name if you wish.
You may find the photo galleries useful to browse the different apple types.
Look at your apple
What type of apple is it?
Is your apple mainly red, green, yellow or russet?
Has it got stripes and/or a flush?
Is it a cooker (sour)or for eating (sweet)? (this can be subjective)
Decide what type of apple it is from the following list...
1. Green apples – sour
2. Green – smooth – sweet
3. Striped – flushed – sour
4. Striped – flushed – smooth skinned – sweet
5. Yellow skinned – sweet or sour
6. Red – sweet or sour
7. Reinettes - striped - flushed – patches or streaks of rough skin – sweet or sour
8. Russet - more rough russetted skin than smooth skin - some russetted all over
What shape is it? Flat, round, conical or oblong? This should give you a few choices to look up and check. Read the description.
If this doesn’t work then remember that apples vary, even on the same tree and it might be a ‘king apple’ and could therefore be an atypical shape.
That striped apples can be plain green early in the season, that colours change as the apple ripens and check a few wider possibilities. It is not possible to be 100 percent accurate if you have only one apple, you need at least 5 apples in a sample so you can pick out the things that are really characteristic of that apple.
To be absolutely certain of an identification you also need other information, i.e. leaves, time of flowering, tip or spur bearing etc. And to check against a named tree!
Is your apple ready to use now? falling from the tree? easy to pick? good characteristic colour? Then look up the current month and the month either side.
Is your apple hard? lacking in colour? small? then it is a later apple so try the later months.
The season when the apple should be in use is taken from Bultitude or Deacon’s catalogue + personal observation. This really only applies to apples picked and stored in perfect conditions, in reality, in a garden situation I find storage and use can be a lot shorter. Early apples (July/August/September) are usually eaten or used straight from the tree. Later apples need to be picked and stored, in a frost free, dark and cool place. Some books give both a picking date and an eating date for apples to keep and store.
Some common apples can be very variable, Bramley’s Seedling comes in many colours and shapes. Rootstock, soil and climate all affect the apple’s appearance and to a certain extent the taste. One of the common identifications is ‘a stressed Cox’s Orange Pippin’ as these are so commonly planted and then neglected, become disease ridden and produce small fruit.
Select the menu option to look at the chart for your apple type.
The charts are based on the system in Apples by John Bultitude, the same groups appear in The New Book of Apples by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards and in The English Apple By Rosanne Sanders. A slightly different system of charts appears in H. V. Taylor’s Apples of England. If you have access to any of these books it should be easy to cross reference although the above authorities do not always agree on which group an apple should be in! I have tried to note other discrepancies in the text. Some apples do not appear in any printed chart and I have used my own judgement.
Your apple may of course be a seedling and a unique apple. In which case if it is a good apple enjoy it.