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Cox's Orange Pippin apple trees

Cox's Orange Pippin

Often regarded as the finest of all apples, Cox's Orange Pippin sets the benchmark for flavour to which all others aspire. The aromatic complexity and depth of flavours are remarkable. In our personal experience pear, melon, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and mango are all readily evident in a good example.

Cox's Orange Pippin is a mid/late season variety, at its best if picked when fully ripe, or picked slightly under-ripe and left in storage for a month or so - it is not a long-keeper though.

Although primarily considered a variety for eating fresh, Cox is an excellent apple for juice / cider blends as well. It is also a versatile culinary apple, with an inherently sweet flavour when baked, and is a common ingredient in English apple preserves, chutneys, and mincemeat.

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Cox's Orange Pippin apple trees for sale

Pot-grown

All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year bush-trained 11.5L pot-grown tree M27 rootstock £42.00
    Very small tree (< 1.7m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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  • PG2Premium cordon 12L pot-grown tree M9 rootstock £43.50
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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  • PG3Premium half-standard 12L pot-grown tree MM106 rootstock £44.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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  • PG4Espalier 12L pot-grown tree MM106 rootstock £59.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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  • PG5Fan-trained 12L pot-grown tree MM106 rootstock £59.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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Bare-root

  • BR1Cordon-trained bare-root tree M9 rootstock £33.95
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years)
  • BR22-year bush-trained bare-root tree M9 rootstock £29.95
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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  • BR32-year bush-trained bare-root tree M26 rootstock £29.95
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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  • BR41-year bare-root tree M25 rootstock £19.95
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)
  • BR52-year (1.75m) bare-root tree M25 rootstock £34.95
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)
    (Not self fertile)

How to grow

Cox's Orange Pippin generally performs better in the drier parts of the UK - the South-east, East Midlands, East Yorkshire and as far north as Edinburgh. It has a reputation for being a bit fussy to grow, but in practice if you are in an area with low rainfall and reasonable sunshine hours you should be successful.

A specific issue with Cox is "Cox spot", a rust-like physiological disorder inherent to this variety, which can be mild or non-existent in some seasons and quite severe (causing early leaf fall) in others. The cause is unknown and there is no treatment, but fortunately although it is unsightly it does not seem to affect the fruit.

Growers in wetter areas might want to consider Fiesta or Sunset, which are closely related and have similar flavour but tolerate higher rainfall much better.

Cox's Orange Pippin is somewhat unusual because it is available in both self-fertile and self-sterile forms - most of ours are the self-fertile form. In general we recommend that you try to have a nearby pollination partner as this will improve cropping.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Cox's Orange Pippin was raised by Richard Cox, in Buckinghamshire, England, in the early 19th century. The parentage is unknown. It has long been considered to be a seedling of Ribston Pippin, but it is also very similar to an old French variety - Margil.

Over time it became apparent that some Cox trees had a good degree of self-fertility but it was not until the 1970s that a standardised self-fertile form was established by the Long Ashton research station near Bristol. This is now the recommended form.

Almost since it was first discovered, Cox's Orange Pippin has featured in the development of new apple varieties, as breeders sought to marry its excellent aromatic flavours with other varieties which might be heavier cropping or have more versatile climate characteristics. Many of these have become excellent varieties in their own right. Cox enthusiasts are likely to find Rubinette and Queen Cox of particular interest, as these two varieties arguably both match Cox for their outstanding flavours, and maybe even exceed it.

Cox's Orange Pippin characteristics

Growing

  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Climate suitabilityWarm climates

Using

  • Picking seasonMid
  • Food usesCulinaryJuice

Problems

  • ScabVery susceptible
  • CankerVery susceptible
  • MildewSome susceptibility

Climate

    Identification

    • Country of originUnited Kingdom
    • Period of origin1800 - 1849
    • Fruit colourOrange flush
    • AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit