• EU deliveries re-starting:
  • Deliveries of fruit trees to European customers will re-commence in autumn 2023, and you can pre-order now.More>
Summer 2022We are now accepting pre-orders for delivery from September onwards for pot-grown trees and December onwards for bare-rooted trees.
Orange Pippin Trees UK logo

Three Counties cider apple trees

Malus domestica
Three Counties is an early-ripening bittersweet cider apple.

Three Counties cider apple trees for sale


  • BR11-year bare-root tree M116 rootstock £30.00
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • BR22-year bare-root tree M116 rootstock £40.25
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • BR32-year (1.75m) bare-root tree M25 rootstock £41.00
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)
Next deliveries

Pre-order now for delivery from September onwards for pot grown trees or December for bare-root trees and mixed orders.

Delivery charges

Delivery for a single tree starts at £9.95. It is calculated when you add trees to your basket, based on your postcode.

Three Counties is a modern bittersweet cider variety. It has a passing resemblance to Dabinett (one of its parents) but ripens much earlier - usually in mid-September.


The Three Counties cider apple variety is named after the traditional cider-growing counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Worcestershire. It was developed at the Long Ashton Research Station of the University of Bristol in the 1990s, in response to demand from commercial cider producers for a cider apple that would ripen in September - much earlier than the traditional varieties. It is thought to be a cross between Dabinett - one of the best English cider varieties, but very late ripening - and James Grieve - a juicy early-season apple.

Three Counties characteristics


  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group2
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesMild damp climates


  • Picking monthSeptember
  • Picking seasonMid
  • CroppingHeavy
  • Food usesJuiceHard cider
  • Juice styleBittersweet (cider)


  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Fruit colourRed striped
  • Fruit sizeAverage

Similar varieties

  • See also Dabinett
  • James Grieve
    James Grieve is the classic Scottish dual-purpose apple. It can be eaten fresh, and is also excellent for juicing and cooking.
  • Prince William
    Another bittersweet developed at Long Ashton, but Prince William is a cross between Michelin and James Grieve.

Pages you viewed

    Trees for sale

    Advice pages

    Tree selection tools