DEDDINGTON GOLDEN An excellent mid-season dessert apple, given to us by Mr and Mrs Plumbe of ‘Apple Tree’, Deddington, Oxfordshire. Their house was built on Apple Tree Farm and the tree was old when they came 36 years ago. The tree is very old, leaning heavily and hollow, though not large. It still bears well. The original variety name is lost and the apple doesn’t appear to be any currently known, hence the new name. The slightly conical apples start off green with a pale red blush, but the red seems to go as they become translucent green, then glowing golden yellow when fully ripe. A warm blush appears on some later. The flesh is crisp, very juicy and full of flavour and sweetness, by mid-September. The apples will keep to November, remaining crisp but the flavour fading slightly. They also cook well. Medium sized, occasionally large. * Pollination Group 3

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

DEVON CRIMSON QUEEN First recorded in 1953 when it entered the National Fruit Trials from Launceston, Cornwall, though it is clearly a very old variety. The naming of this apple has been confused. The old Crimson Queening/Crimson Quoining and a Crimson Queen from Dorset led to qualifying prefixes for the distinct ‘Crimson Queen’, known in the south-west. Both Cornwall and Devon named the same apple after their own county. Devon Crimson Queen is now the accepted name but some still call it Cornish Crimson Queen. It is also called Queenie and the St. Dominic Apple, (from St. Dominic in Devon). A sweet subacid, medium to large, dessert apple, early to middle season, August to September. It has good crops and the tree has a spreading habit. Pollination Group 4

 

 

DEVONSHIRE QUARRENDEN A very old dessert apple, mentioned by Worlidge in his Vinetum Britannicum of 1678. It may derive its name from Carentan, a traditional apple growing district of Normandy, though other origins are also possible. It is one of the best early apples, with attractive fruit of stunning deep red. The apples have a strawberry flavour and are sweet, juicy and crisp. Upright, spreading trees. It is tolerant of wind and rain, and is extensively cultivated in Devon, where it seems to thrive. It is also grows well in the north. Ripe in August, they do not store for long.

Pollination Group 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIRLETON RED A stunning ornamental tree, as well as a very palatable apple for culinary use. It was introduced to us by Bill Anderson, a construction engineer for oil and process industries, who had long admired the mature tree over his neighbour’s fence and treated himself to the apples in salads and drinks. The tree is in Dirleton, a village in East Lothian, Scotland, where the Firth of Forth, from Edinburgh, opens into the North Sea. Open to the north east winds, the tree is clearly very hardy. It is one of those curious trees that has copper tinted young foliage, dark coloured bark, especially on young stems, and red staining inside the wood. The apples are deep red. Like Bundy’s Ringwood Red (above) it probably has some ancestry from Malus Niedzwetzkyana, an all-over red tinted crab, with which it has much in common, but the fruit is larger and without the astringent bitterness of the crab. The blossom is quite stunning. It flowers readily from almost all one year old buds, as well as mature spurs, with petals of the richest deep carmine pink. The apples are translucent deep red over deep pink, usually flattened round, but occasionally conical. The flesh is crisp and juicy, with a little sweetness but quite tart – it is also stained, from the skin to the core, with deep pink. Spur bearing. Thanks to Bill Anderson for sending apples and scionwood. *

Pollination Group 3

 

 

DISCOVERY An early dessert apple, raised in Essex in the mid twentieth century and introduced in 1963. Probably a cross between Worcester Pearmain and Beauty of Bath. Medium sized fruit, with a bright red flush, and a good fresh flavour. The flesh stays crisp for longer than that of most early apples. Slow to crop, but crops are then quite heavy. The blossom shows some resistance to frost so it is a good variety for cold areas. Part tip-bearing.

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
             

 

DONHEAD HOUSE An old dessert apple introduced to us by David Godden of Donhead St. Andrew. Donhead House is at Donhead St. Andrew, in Wiltshire, but very close to Shaftesbury in Dorset. A single apple tree grows in a walled garden. The groundsman says that the tree looked much the same 40 years ago. Before 1895 the property was a rectory. The 1840 tithe map shows the apple tree position to be within the ‘yards, garden and plantations’ of the rectory. This tree looks very old and would therefore have been associated with the 18th century rectory. A map of 1768 the area marked as ‘Kitchen Mead’ within the rectory grounds. It is unlikely that the tree would have been planted on its own but the rest of the rector’s orchard is gone and this apple seems the sole survivor. The tree branches very low and there is no evidence of a graft union, suggesting the possibility that ground level has changed or perhaps it was a seedling. The tree might have regrown from a decayed trunk and grown into the space. The current trunk has a fluted bottom with some wide fissures. The weathered bark shows it is no longer growing at low level. The apples are different from any we have seen and the tree has therefore been named anew. Ripe in October, the largish apples are crisp, juicy and rich but seem to lose flavour in November, albeit in an untypical year (2015). Though large for an eating apple, this is its strongest asset, as it gains no extra flavour when cooked. A very interesting tree and fruit, and probably very old indeed.

 

DOWNTON PIPPIN First recorded in 1792, Hogg says it was raised by Thomas Andrew Knight of Downton Castle, though it was also said to have been raised at Elton Hall and named after Downton Castle, built by Knight’s brother. Hogg says it was from a cross of Isle of Wight Orange Pippin with Golden Pippin pollen. Lindley said it was a cross of Orange Pippin and Golden Pippin. The fruit is small, similar to Golden Pippin. The skin is lemon yellow, sometimes blushed red and with a few traces of russet in the sun and speckled with russet dots. The flesh is crisp and juicy, with a rich, aromatic flavour. It is reckoned equally useful for dessert, cooking and cider. When cooked it keeps its shape. Hogg also says the trees are vigorous, becoming medium sized, are abundant croppers and good for espaliers. Ripe in November and lasting to January. Dark pink buds.

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DR HOGG Raised by the head gardener of Leonardslee in Sussex, introduced around 1880 and named after the eminent pomologist Robert Hogg. A very large cooking apple, possibly a seedling of Calville Blanc, which is ripe in September. The flesh is rich and sweet, and when fully ripe, the apple is good for dessert. It has been said to be excellent for baking and cooking to a purée, but we have found it to keep its shape when cooked, though it might be more yielding after storage. It keeps until the end of October, but will go longer albeit with loss of flavour and texture. Attractive stripy blossom. T*.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
             

 

DROXFORD An astonishing tree, first shown to us by owner, Chris Bennett, of Garrison Hill, Droxford, Hampshire, many years ago. The tree was exceptionally old, 8-9 ft in girth, hollow and immaculately boarded over where the hollow boughs had been removed over the ages. His house was built in 1897 and the tree surely existed well before then. It might have been part of an orchard associated with the adjacent ‘Baker’s Arms’. The tree probably had the ground level made up around it by 6-8ft, when three terraced houses were built, along with cellars, and the spoil was possibly used to bank up the garden. The trunk divides into two large boughs/trunks just above ground now. The houses were built by the owner of the Public House for his family. On the other side of Chris Bennett’s house is Eden Lodge, built around 1750 at about the same time as the Public House and though no other fruit trees now exist in the area, one or other property probably had an orchard, where the terraced houses were built. The tree produces large, flat cooking apples, lightly ribbed, pale green with liberal scarlet streaks and flecks. When cooked lightly it keeps its shape, is sweet, rich and tangy, though some might like to add a little sugar.

 

DUCHESS OF OLDENBURG An early dessert/culinary apple, originally from Russia and known since the early 1700s. It spread to Germany and Sweden and was sent from there to England around 1820. There are numerous synonyms. A beautiful fruit, with pale yellow skin, boldly striped and mottled with red. The flesh is firm and deep cream, with a refreshing, juicy, savoury flavour. A popular Victorian apple, it was once widely grown in the U.S.A. and is still popular in Sweden and Russia because the trees are very hardy and crop heavily. It does not store for long.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUCHESS’S FAVOURITE Raised at Cree’s nursery at Addlestone in Surrey sometime before 1823. It was named after the Duchess of York, a customer who was impressed by its striking red skin and crisp, sweet, tasty red and white flesh. Strangely, it also has the synonym ‘Duchess of Gloucester’. A very popular dessert apple in Kent, grown for the London market in the late 19th century. Good Crops. A middle/late apple storing until November.

Pollination Group 4