Kidd's Orange Red is one of the select band of apple varieties which can truly be said to rival the definitive Cox's Orange Pippin for flavour. It is primarily a sweet apple, but unlike most sweet apples it has a rich complexity to the flavours too. Kidd's Orange Red is fairly crisp but also pleasantly chewy, and each bite seems to release yet more juice and flavour.
Kidd's Orange Red is a popular garden variety in the UK, so much so that it has come to be regarded as a typical 'English' apple. However it was actually raised in New Zealand at the start of the 20th century by J.H. Kidd, who was an enthusiast of the English Cox's Orange Pippin apple which is one of the parents of Kidd's Orange Red.
The tree grows attractively, and the crimson pink blossom is a particular feature.
Although primarily an apple for eating fresh, Kidd's Orange Red also produces a high quality sweet apple juice, with a pleasing thick texture.
Captain Kidd is a 'sport' with a stronger red colour but identical in other respects.
All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.
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It often seems that apples with the best flavor are the most difficult to grow, but this is not the case with Kidd's Orange Red. It is very easy to grow, generally problem-free, and makes an excellent garden variety for most regions, including cool temperate climates and warmer climates. It forms an attractive-looking tree with long branches which grow vertically when the tree is young but then bend over with fruit as the tree comes into bearing. (If necessary, tie the young branches towards the horizontal to improve the appearance - this will also help cropping). Certainly worth considering as a feature apple tree.
The only caveats are that the fruit ripens late in the season, and benefits from being planted in a sunny spot in the garden. It is not a heavy-cropper, although cropping is reliable.
Fruit size can be on the small size but this can be corrected by moderate thinning as the fruitlets start to form.
Kidd's Orange Red is a good choice if you are not keen on pruning, as its branches and fruiting spurs do not become congested as the tree ages.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
Kidd's Orange Red was developed in the 1920s by New Zealand apple enthusiast J.H. Kidd. It is a cross between Cox's Orange Pippin and Delicious.