Bramley's Seedling apple tree
Bramley's Seedling is an outstanding English "cooker", and an essential variety for anyone interested in cooking with apples.
The reason for its versatility in the kitchen is its very high acid content, which is far higher than most traditional American cooking apples. As a result it readily cooks down to a stiff but light apple puree, which is regarded as a key requirement in English apple cookery. When cooked it has an excellent tangy sharp flavor which few other apples can match.
The copious juice also makes Bramley's Seedling valuable for juicing. In English cider production it is used as a "sharp", to increase the acidity of cider blends.
Bramley's Seedling trees are well-known for being long-lived. The first tree was grown from a pip in a garden in Nottinghamshire, England, in 1809 - and amazingly this tree still survives.
Bramley's Seedling apple trees for sale
1Small 1-year bare-root tree
Mature height: 6ft-9ft after 10 years
2Medium 1-year bare-root tree
Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
How to grow
Bramley's Seedling is a very vigorous triploid variety - it has three sets of chromosomes rather than the more usual two. Its triploid nature can be seen in the strong dark-coloured leaves, thick branches, and large apples. Bramley's Seedling is quite easy to grow, its great vigour and natural disease resistance means it usually throws off problems fairly easily.
As a triploid variety, Bramley's Seedling is not able to pollinate other apple varieties, but ironically it has attractive and prolific pink-flushed blossom. The fruit ripens late in the season, and stores very well.
Bramley's Seedling is one of the best English apples for growing in North America. Although it thrives in the cool temperate climate of an English summer, it is just as happy in hotter continental climates.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
Bramley's Seedling was was raised from a pip by a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford, near Nottingham, England, in 1809. The house, with the mature tree in the garden, was later sold to a Matthew Bramley who allowed cuttings to be propagated as long as his name was used. The original tree still survives - and can be seen in a video made by the BBC in 2011 (note the typical English summer weather!).
The new variety was quickly recognised as an outstanding cooking apple and by the end of the Victorian era it was widely planted in England and Northern Ireland, becoming synonymous with English apple cookery. However for the next century it remained little-known outside the UK, since European and North American growers had long preferred dual-purpose apples which could be both eaten fresh and cooked. Latterly with a resurgence in interest in apple cookery it has become well-known amongst North American apple enthusiasts and, 200 years after its birth, this remarkable "cooker" is increasingly recognized as one of the world's great apples varieties.
Bramley's Seedling characteristics
- Picking seasonLate
- UsesCulinaryJuiceHard ciderTraditional cooker
- Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
- Cooking resultPuree
- Juice styleSharper
- Juice colorPale yellow
- Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
- Gardening skillAverage
- Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
- Pollination group3
- Pollinating othersPoor
- VigourSlightly largeVery vigorous
- Bearing regularityRegular
- Fruit bearingPartial tip-bearer
- Cedar apple rustSome resistance
- FireblightSome resistance
- MildewSome resistance
- ScabVery resistant
- Bitter pitSome susceptibility
- Cold hardiness (USDA)(4) -30F / -34C(5) -20F / -29C(6) -10F / -23C(7) 0F / -18C(8) 10F / -12C(9) 20F / -7C(10) 30F / -1C
- Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)Hot (>30C / 86F)Cold (< 20C / 67F)
- Country of originUnited Kingdom
- Period of origin1800 - 1849
- Fruit colorGreen / Red
- Fruit sizeLarge
- AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit