March news 2017


Apologies to everyone - I spelt the name wrong.  It is a Wotton Costard - not Wootton as on the Isle of Wight or in the New Forest.  Anyway now checked and sorted and properly researched.  have a full description and history for this apple.  It was found in an ancient orchard on the nearby Wotton estate, is an excellent cooker which holds its shape and can be a dessert apple when mature

DNA Testing for Apple identification

This is now available through   Anyone can participate if in UK or Ireland, elsewhere by arrangement.  Complete the form (on website, queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to request sample bags  (from now until 23rd June), these will be posted from May1st + an address label and record form   You then put Leaf samples in the bags and return.

Cost £25.00 + VAT per sample

What will you get? you will be notified of any matching fingerprint in the National Fruit collection (2,100 apples and 550 pears) If your sample is unique i.e. a new variety you still get the fingerprint data and can participate in discussions for naming the apple.

How long does it take? results will be circulated by the end of November 2017

I will put the form on this website as a menu item as soon as I have worked out how to do it, I can administer this website on a day to day basis but not sure of my capabilities here and might need to ask for assistance!  In the meantime go directly to  This site is very interesting and informative with an exhaustive amount of information - well worth a look.

I am really happy about this development as there are so many ident. queries I can't answer.  I know the apples I know, particularly if I have drawn and recorded them, but there are 3000 cultivated varieties here in the UK, not to mention worldwide, and this does not include seedlings, so to be able to direct people to somewhere they will be able to put their ident. query is very useful.


Another subject - a couple of years ago I asked on the website if anyone had an explanation for our mistletoe which appeared to be cloning itself around the apple trees in our garden.  Definitely all male and no berries, so how did it reproduce? No really satisfactory explanation emerged except that there must be another tree with a female mistletoe somewhere in the neighbourhood.  I have looked and asked and cannot find another apple tree with mistletoe anywhere near.  As we are still mystified I wrote to the RHS (inspired by the mistletoe picture on the letters page this month) and will let you know the answer when I have it.



Additional information