Bramley's Seedling apple trees
Bramley's Seedling is the definitive English "cooker" - an apple variety used mainly for cooking purposes (although many customers like to eat them fresh as well).
Bramley is well-known for its rich sharp acidity - it has one of the highest acid contents of any apple variety. As a result it cooks down to a stiff but light apple puree, a key requirement for English apple cookery, with an excellent sharp flavour.
The copious juice makes Bramley's Seedling valuable for juicing as well, and the juice can also be used in cider production.
The apples ripen fairly late in the season, and stores well.
Bramley's Seedling trees are well-known for being large and long-lived. The first tree was grown from a pip in a garden in Nottinghamshire in 1809 - and amazingly this tree still survives. Some of our Bramley trees have been propagated from a tree which was in turn propagated in 2005 directly from this original tree - these are listed as "original".
Bramley apples in shops are often a solid green colour, this is because they are usually picked a bit early for long-term cold storage. Our photo shows the natural colouring of Bramley's Seedling apples, which is a pale green-yellow skin flushed with red or orange where the sun catches them.
Bramley's Seedling apple trees for sale
All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.
PG12-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree M26 rootstock £39.50
(2m-3m after 10 years)
PG22-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree MM106 rootstock £39.50
(3m-4m after 10 years)
PG3Espalier 12L pot-grown tree MM106 rootstock £59.50
(3m-4m after 10 years)
BR11-year bare-root tree M116 rootstock £19.95
(3m-4m after 10 years)
BR21-year bare-root tree M25 rootstock £19.95
Very large tree
(4m-7m 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.
A particular characteristic of Bramley is that it tends not to produce side-shoots when it is young, and a 1-year Bramley tree will often resemble a stick with no side-shoots at all. Cutting the stem back after planting will help, but do not worry if your new Bramley tree takes a year or two to start looking like a tree.
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.
We also offer an alternative selection known as Bramley 20 which is about 20% less vigourous than Bramley's Seedling, and therefore produces a smaller tree which is better suited for smaller gardens. The apples are the same size.
Bramley's Seedling is one of the best English apples for growing in continental Europe. 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.
The first Bramley tree was raised from a pip by a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford, near Nottingham in 1809. The house, with the mature tree in the garden, was later sold to a Matthew Bramley who allowed cuttings to be propagated. The original tree, now more than 200 years old, still survives - and can be seen in a video made by the BBC in 2011 (note the typical English summer weather!). However by 2016 experts confirmed it was dying from a fungal infection.
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. Even so, for the next century it remained remarkably 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, and retained their shape when cooked. Things started to change in the 21st century when a surge in interest in cider in North America has led growers and cider producers to start looking beyond the mainstream American varieties. Bramley's Seedling, with its very high acid levels, proved to be the ideal complement to the sweeter American cider varieties - helped by the fact that despite its English ancestry it turns out to be very well adapted to the hot bright summers that are a feature of the North American climate.
Bramley's Seedling characteristics
- Gardening skillAverage
- Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
- Flowering group3
- Pollinating othersPoor
- Fruit bearingPartial tip-bearer
- Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesMild damp climatesWarm climates
- Picking monthSeptember
- Picking seasonLate
- Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
- Food usesCulinaryJuiceHard ciderTraditional cooker
- Cooking resultPuree
- Juice styleSharper
- ScabVery resistant
- MildewSome resistance
- Country of originUnited Kingdom
- Period of origin1800 - 1849
- Flesh colourWhite
- Fruit colourGreen / Red
- Fruit sizeLarge
- AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit