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Cider apples?

There are hundreds of varieties of cider apples. There are some with long and interesting histories and there are also plenty of new kids on the block too. While some of them might look 'samey', some are quite distinct to look at and most have a particular characteristic taste too.

Here are a few pictures that I took this morning of some of the varieties that we have here. It looks as though we'll be having quite a reasonable harvest.
The best ciders are generally made from a blend of different cider apples, rather than a single variety and while you can sometimes get away with adding cooking and eating apples, you really do need a good base of cider apples if your going to get a good depth of taste to your cider.

Here we have Somerset Red Streak apples on three year old trees.

Brown Snout.

Tom Putt. These are quite often used in cider but are described as dual purpose. I presume that you can also use them as cooking or eating apples.

Major. There isn't a particularly heavy crop on these trees but they're only babies and they have plenty of time.

We have a good heavy crop on our older trees and once again, our Kingston Blacks and Dabinetts are looking good. We also have a few Michelin that are always very handy to add to any blend of cider.

Not all our apples are cider varieties and here's a quick shot of our red Worcester and Red Devil eating apples.


Your apples do look good Bodger
I have one late fruiting desert tree, but then my garden isn't very big.
I'd love an orchard  


Modern planting systems can see in excess of 300 trees to the acre.

How do you keep track of which tree is what variety?

I would never be able to remember them all unless they were labelled or had little plaques on them.

Some of my trees are ladened, some are bare !
They are mixed ages, three, four years and some are much older.
The Major are almost overloaded but the Yarlington Mill are bare after croping well last year.
I have been out to two of the orchards I clear windfalls from this week and I have collected just over three quarters of a ton of of fruit.
Serious back and leg ache but it looks like it could be a good crop this year.  

I plant them in batches of the different varieties, so that I know which ones are which.

Do you keep an orchard book?

Listing your sections planted with what variety, when they were planted, pruning and tree feeding regiemes and of course the harvest yields obtained.

Yes, something along those lines.
Dave C

Few pics of mine which I planted 10 years ago now with the intention of juicing but haven't gotten round too yet.

From the top left we have Discovery which is a juice apple good early crop this year as we have eaten more than half already
We also have a few Katie, James Greves and Coxes Brambling
Behind them is a Victoria Plumb and 2 pear trees.

Dont know if you had any damage but most of our fruit this year is badly scared and bruised due to the hail storm we had end of June.

That's a cracking crop you have there.

This coming Saturday, I'm thinking of picking my eaters and cookers, ready to press for apple juice the weekend after.

And the weekend after, we'd better look at pressing some of the cider apples too.

Dave, I'd plant some discovery myself if a certain person  would let me. As you know, they're one of the earliest ripening ones you can get and they make for a brilliantly sweet juice.
Dave C

Yes they are very juicy and as sweet as pink lady's.  

Its a strange thing with Discovery Dave. They are delicious apples but they don't keep and when it comes to making them into apple juice, where as most varieties have a shelf life of two years, the recommendation for Discovery juice is only 12 months.
Not a lot of people know that you know.

Your trees are looking great Bodger, I remember seeing some of your photos of when you planted them. They've come on well!

Nice to have you back
It seems like an age since I had the original idea and cleared the land and started planting.
The last of the eaters were picked yesterday and thanks to  the windy weather last night, I've got plenty of apples  to pick up off the ground to press for my first pressing for cider of the season. By the end of the week, with the weather that's been forecast, I should have plenty more to pick
Usually, with the varieties that I have, the cider apples would be picked much later than this but the vast majority of the apples that I have are still on the trees.

Yes, it's been a funny year. Some of the early cider apples have dropped really early....the later ones (like Black Dabinett) are huge and clinging on for dear life still.

I have a huge problem with slugs on my apples - do you experience this? When they drop I'm not always around to get to them to gather,  so the slugs descend on the apples.

They leave just a hollowed out skin!

I've got the perfect answer  Casper. We have a flock of ducks that patrol the orchards and as a  result, we don't have a slug problem.

Perfect! Any chance you could rent them out for a month to come and eat these fat slugs down here?  

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