Pollination

A photo gallery of apple blossom is available here (also found under the Photo Gallery Menu)

 

I started by checking all the trees in our garden, when the first blossom opened and when they had more flowers open than closed. Some trees flowered for longer than others, Bramley’s Seedling started a little earlier than the date in the books but went on flowering for a long time, still with the very last blossoms on top (just) as Crawley Beauty opened in June.  Some were all over in a week at most.  The position in the garden or even on the tree affected the opening, Arthur Turner opened first on the lower branches but the top branches exposed to the wind opened quite a few days later.  We have two crab apples, one we know as ‘Red Siberian Crab’ which is the first tree to flower and John Downie which flowers late in May, both of these open over quite  a long period of time and help with pollination.
On the whole the order of flowering agreed with received wisdom from books and websites – they open in the same order regardless of the exact date.  But there is not an exact number of days between each tree, the weather affects this and some trees were delayed a few days by bad weather and a drop in temperature.  But I don’t think this matters too much in practical terms – in general the information given under each apple on flowering times is valid. The apples pollinate in the groups either side i.e. the apples in group C pollinate both group B and group D.

A list based only on our 15 trees would not be much use to anyone else so I checked out between books and websites to make a list.  There are various ways of dividing the trees into flowering groups, I finally settled for the groups A-H as in Crawford.  If trees flower for a week or more from when the first flowers open you can see that there is considerable overlap between the groups.  I noted that Crawford and The New Book of Apples generally have the same flowering dates and these appear on the Brogdale website so feel fairly safe about putting the apples into groups, obviously I don’t know all the flowering times from personal observation. The flowering times apply to southern England – please adjust slightly depending on where you live.

For example
Brogdale have Egremont Russet flowering 10% on 30th April
       50% on 7th May
       90% on 14th May
Crawford and the New Book of Apples have 7th as the flowering time i.e.50% out.
I have the 10th May as the date when more blossom was open than closed.
Deacons Nursery catalogue puts this in Group 1 for pollination.
In this case there was considerable agreement but this didn’t apply to all cultivars!
Bultitude says ‘ four days before Cox’s Orange Pippin with St Edmund’s Pippin and Idared’.  In our garden Idared and Egremont Russet were out at the same time to pollinate each other.  Most references have Cox’s Orange Pippin flowering on 12th so this makes the flowering date for Egremont Russet on 8th May.

 

Egremont Russet blossom  5/5/13

Most of the apples that appear on the website are in the following lists.  This is a work in progress so there are a few missing, as yet I don’t have the information, especially about the very local apples.
I have tried to show whether they are self fertile and will produce good crops on their own (sf), partially self fertile and will produce some crops on their own (psf) or are triploids which don’t produce viable pollen and therefore will not pollinate other cultivars, but need two other varieties for pollination (trip) or self sterile (ss) which will not produce viable crops on their own.
Also tetraploid (tetr) which are usually sports and tend to produce larger fruits than their parent.

Research continues –  this is the ‘Mark 1 version’.  Comments welcome.

I have included picking time and season of use.  In a garden situation picking time is mostly when they are ready to come off the tree and/or starting to drop.  Or as often happens with us, when a south west gale is expected and we pick before they are all blown off and bruised.  Season varies according to storage, a cold garden shed keeps them for some time but obviously not as long as a commercial cold store.  In a garden situation the length of time some apples are supposed to keep is unrealistic and this site is intended on the whole for gardeners with probably limited and imperfect storage facilities but at least the dates give an idea which apples are likely to keep and which should be eaten first!
Early apples with a picking season from July – early September are best used straight from the tree – they do not keep.

Is it 'season of use' or is it 'storage and ripening'?  Ihave put 'storage' in the following lists, our apples are picked and stored in the shed and we use them from there so storage seemed to fit.  Any useful and informed comments can be added if other people know better than me.

The numbers refer to flowering dates, based on Brogdale and the National Fruit collection (also in Crawford and The New Book of Apples, cross referenced with Bultitude), these apply to the south of England, obviously later in the north.  As explained above apples do not stick strictly to flowering dates so this is a bit simplistic.

A really excellent link for pollination etc which covers far more apples than those on this website is http://www.orangepippintrees.co.uk/search.aspx

In the list below the first date is for picking, the second date for storing and ripening

Group A  2/3/4/5
Red Siberian Crab  ornamental      pollinator for next two group                                                   Gravenstein trip  pick September, store September/October

Group B  5/6/7
Cookers
George Neal pick late August, store August/September
Golden Spire pick September,  store September/October also cider
Rev.W.Wilks sf pick late August/September,  store September/Nov
Royal George pick early October, store November/December
Tower of Glamis pick early October, store November/December
Warner’s King pick late September,  store October/January

Dessert/Dual
Alkmene pick late September,  store September/October
Baker’s Delicious pick September, store September
Beeley Pippin pick September, store September/October
Christmas Pearmain pick early October, store November/December
Devonshire Quarrendon psf  pick August, store September
Egremont Russet psf pick late September/October, store Oct/Dec
Elton Beauty   pick early September, store October/November
Greensleeves psf pick late September,  store October/November
Idared  pick mid October,  store November/March
Irish Peach pick August,  store August, eat from the tree
Isle of Wight Pippin pick October,  store November/January
Keswick Codlin psf  pick late August/September, store September
Lodi pick late July/August, store August
Polka pick September, store September/October
St Cecilia pick early October, store November/February
Thorle Pippin  pick late August, store August/September
Wagener psf  pick October,  store November/March
White Transparent psf pick late July/August,  store August

Group C  8/9/10/11
Cookers
Bismark psf, pick early October, store November/February
Bountiful  pick late September, store October/December
Bushey Grove pick September, store October/December
Catshead pick October, store October/January
Early Victoria psf pick August, store August/September
Grenadier psf pick August, store August/October
Hambledon Deux Ans pick October, store November/February
Lord Grosvenor pick August, store August/September
Mere de Menage pick October, store November/January
Monarch psf pick early October, store November/January
Stirling Castle psf pick mid September, store October/December 
Stobo Castle pick August, store August
Tom Putt pick September, store September/November

Dessert/Dual

Adam’s Pearmain pick early October, store November/February
Allington Pippin psf pick early October, store November/December
Beauty of Bath ss pick August, store August, best straight from the tree
Beauty of Kent pick late September, store October/December, can be used as cooker
Belle de Boskoop trip pick early October, store October/January
Brownlees Russet sf pick mid October, store October/February
Charles Ross psf pick mid September, store October/December, these are the official dates but it doesn’t keep nearly as long as this
Cox’s Orange Pippin ss pick late September/October, store November/January
Cox’s Pomona pick late September, store October/December
Duchess’s Favourite pick late August, store August/September
Duke of Devonshire pick late October, store November/February
Empire psf pick October, store November/February
Epicure psf pick late August, store August/September
Exquisite sf pick late August, store August/September
Falstaff pick early October, store October/December
George Cave sf pick August/September, store August/September
Granny Smith  sf pick late October, store November/February and on
Holstein trip pick late September/October, store November/January
James Grieve psf pick September, store September/October This doesn’t wait to be picked it drops from the tree all too easily
John Standish pick mid October, store November/December
Jonathan psf pick early October, store November/January
Katy pick early September, store September/October
Lemoen pick early October,  store November/January
Liberty pick October,  store October/November
Lord Hindlip pick October, store November/January
Lord Lambourne psf   pick late September, store September/October
Madresfield Court pick late September,  store October/December
Margil pick early October, store November/December
Merton Russet pick October, store November/January
Merton Worcester pick early September, store September/October
Notaris pick late September,  store October/January
Osnabrucker Reinette pick mid October, store November/January
Pearl ss pick late September/October, store October
Peasgood’s Nonsuch psf pick mid September, store October/December
Queen pick late August, store September/December
Red Devil pick late September, store October/December
Red Miller’s seedling psf pick August, store late August/September
Ribston Pippin trip pick late September/October, store October/January
Rival psf pick late September,  store October/December
Rosemary Russet pick October, store November/January
Ross Nonpareil pick late September,  store October/December
Steyne Seedling pick October,  store November/January
Sturmer Pippin psf pick late October, store January/April  this does not want to be picked, left to itself it will hang on to the branch until the New Year
Sunset sf pick late September, store October/December
Upton Pyne pick October,  store November/February
Waltz pick September/October,   store December/January
Wealthy pick end September,  store September/December
White Melrose pick September, store October/November
Worcester Pearmain pick early September, store September/October

Group D  12/13/14
Cookers
Bramley’s Seedling  trip. pick October, store November/March
Ecklinville  pick early September, store October/November
French Crab  pick October, store December/June
Frogmore Prolific pick late August/earlySeptember, store September
Harvey or Doctor Harvey pick mid September , store Sept/November
Hoary Morning pick early October, store November/January
Howgate Wonder  psf pick early October, store November/January
Lane’s Prince Albert  psf pick October , store November/January
Lord Derby  psf pick late September, store November/December
Newton Wonder  psf pick October, store November/March

Dessert/Dual
Ashmeads Kernel pick October,  store December/February
Autumn Pearmain pick October,  store October
Blenheim Orange  trip.  pick late September/October,  store October/January
Bloody Ploughman pick September, store September/October
Captain Kidd  pick October,  store November/January
Chiver’s Delight pick October,  store November/January
Claygate Pearmain  ss pick October, store December/February
Cornish Aromatic pick October,  store December/February 
Cornish Pine/Gilliflower  pick October, store November/February
Cutler Grieve  pick September, store October/November
D’Arcy Spice  ss pick late October, store November/May
Ellison’s Orange  psf   pick late September, store Septmber/October
Elstar pick early October, store October/December
Fiesta psf pick late September,  store October/January
Forge pick late September,  store October/December
Ingrid Marie pick late September,  store October/December
Jonagold  trip. pick October,  store November/January
Jonagored trip. pick October,  store November/January
Jupiter  trip. pick early October, store late October/January
Kent or Malling Kent pick October,  store November/February
Kidd’s Orange Red pick October,  store November/January
King George V pick October,  store November/March
King of the Pippins  psf pick early October, store November/December
Lady Henniker pick early October,  store November/December
Lady Sudeley  psf pick August,  store August/September
Laxton’s Superb  psf pick October, store November/January
Lemon Pippin pick early October, store November/December
Lemon Queen pick September, store September/November
Mabbot’s Pearmain pick late September, store October/November
May Queen pick mid October,  store November/February  probably not May!
Merton Beauty pick September, store September/October
Mother or American Mother  psf pick late September,   store October/December 
Nonpareil  pick October,  store November/December
Norfolk Beefing pick October,  store November/April
Norfolk Royal pick early September, store September/November
Pitmaston Pineapple pick October,  store October/December
Red Delicious pick October,  store November/February
This does not store when picked from the garden – eat immediately from the tree otherwise it seems to develop a metallic taste in my experience, correct me if your experience is different
Reinette du Canada  trip. pick mid October, store November/March   Eaten from Sister Anselma's store in February - delicious!
Sir John Thorneycroft pick early October, store November/December
Spartan  sf pick early October, store November/January  Store by juicing - goes a pretty pink colour
Sweet Caroline pick early October, store November/December
Tydeman’s Early Worcester  psf pick August/September, store September  Straight off the tree is best
Tydeman’s Late Orange  pick October, store November/April
Usually a little undersized in our garden to store for very long need more diciplined thinning!
Winston  sf pick late October, store December/March
Winter Banana  pick October, store November/January
Wyken Pippin pick October, store November/January

Group E  15/16/17/18
Cookers
Annie Elizabeth psf   pick October, store November/April
Golden Noble  pick Octoberstore November/February 

Dessert/Dual
Braeburn sf   pick late October, store January/March
Gloster sf  pick mid October, store November/January
Orlean’s Reinette psf  pick mid October, store November/January 
Reinette Rouge Etoilee  pick late September/October, store October/November  

Group F  19/20/21/22
Cookers
Edward VII  pick October, store December/April
Royal Jubilee  sf  pick late September, store October/December

Dessert/Dual
Bess Pool pick late October, store November/March

Group G  23/24/25/26
Crab
John Downie  pick late September/October, store October. These are small and don't store, use at once to make Crab Apple Jelly

Dessert/Dual
Court Pendu Plat pick late October, store November/January

Group F  27/28/29/30 and onwards!
Cookers
Crawley Beauty  officially 28 but has been known to wait until June 9th in this gardenPick October, store November/January