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Bloody Ploughman apple trees

Malus domestica

There are numerous stories about the origins of this well-known Scottish apple. In essence the variety arose as a seedling, allegedly near the grave of a ploughman who had been shot by a gamekeeper for stealing apples (or perhaps something more valuable). The knobbly skin is indeed a crimson-red colour, and this is also a variety where the flesh can sometimes be stained red as well.

Bloody Ploughman is often considered an eating apple in Scotland, but south of the border tends to be regarded as a cooker!

Bloody Ploughman apple trees for sale

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree MM106 rootstock £19.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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  • BR22-year bush-trained bare-root tree MM106 rootstock £29.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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  • BR32-year half-standard bare-root tree MM106 rootstock £34.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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History

Bloody Ploughman originates from the area around Megginch in the Carse of Gowrie in eastern Scotland. It was first recorded in 1883, and it is rumoured that the original tree is still alive.

The Carse of Gowrie is an area of high quality agricultural land between the towns of Perth and Dundee. It has long been associated with fruit-growing, and has one of the best climates in Scotland, with a combination of low rainfall and good levels of sunshine. Whilst the ancestry of Bloody Ploughman is unknown, the story suggests it is most likely a seedling of a local variety.

Bloody Ploughman characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesMild damp climates

Using

  • Picking seasonMid
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-2 months
  • Food usesCulinaryJuiceHard cider
  • Flavour style (apples)Sharper

Problems

  • Disease resistanceAverage

Climate

    Identification

    • Country of originUnited Kingdom
    • Period of origin1850 - 1899
    • Fruit colourRed / Green