It's difficult to find most of our heritage apple trees for sale now. That's partly because there are so few nurseries in the UK growing fruit trees now. Partly, too, it's because these apple store badly, or bruise when travelling, or look funny, or the trees don't yield enough. Tastes have changed; we don't cook as much so don't need different varieties of cookers, and people prefer sweet eating apples. There's an element of Catch 22 as well - because we don't eat traditional old apple varieties we're unfamiliar with them, and don't plant heritage apple trees as a result.
We think that's a terrible shame, and not just because they can taste so delicious (some, of course, did not!).
Britain has a rich and ancient history of growing apples and has the perfect climate for them; there are varieties listed here from all over the country. Our heritage apples are associated with the areas - or even villages - they come from. Here in Somerset we are in cider land, and are surrounded by villages with their own apple varieties - Yarlington Mill, Kingston Black... We offer over 100 varieties of apple tree and keep on adding to our list, but there are many more - and some very good ones - still out there. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Many varieties have their own stories to tell. You can findthe applesCaptain Cook took on his voyages here, or, incredibly, even buy direct descendants fromthe treeunder which Isaac Newton sat.
Value For Wildlife
Apple orchards - even just a few trees - are brilliant for wildlife. They're one of our richest habitats and home to an army of flying, creeping, buzzing, knocking, animals.Although their value improves with age, young trees are pretty good too. Pollinators, particularly bees, enjoy the spring blossom.
The unimproved grassland under apple trees provides nest sites for some of them as well, along with many other animals too. Wildflowers there provide more forage during the summer months.
Apple orchards have a secret underground world too; their undisturbed soil is home to all sorts of flora and fauna. Apple trees don’t last very long, and decaying wood provides a wonderful habitat for all sorts of sometimes rare and always fascinating animals. Lots of fungi too. In the autumn fallen apples are a feast for mammals and birds, as well as late flying butterflies and other invertebrates.
Other kinds of heritagefruit trees- not just apple trees - can produce the same effects, of course.
Which Apple Trees Should I Buy, And When?
Have a look at ourguide to planting,which will explain apple rootstocks and planting distances, andpollination groups.You'll also find lots of helpful advice in the links below and in ourFAQs.Our apple trees are all supplied as young bare root plants, so they're only available from November to the end of March - i.e. when they are dormant. You can reserve them in the nursery in advance of this period, however.
Our Apple Trees For Sale
We source over 100 varieties of apple tree from several specialist traditional nurseries in the UK, so they are ALL British grown and - we hope! - high quality. There aren't many fruit tree nurseries left here, and we think it's important to support them and the varieties they sell.
Oh - none of our nurseries use peat. They're not organically certified - at least as yet - but only use minimal quantities of chemicals and continue to reduce their use further. We can let you know about exactly what each nursery does use if you would like.