Posted by: internationalroutier | April 16, 2010

17Cth Apple Trees

by Louise, (editor)

I was very excited the other day to find a company in Tasmania selling varieties of apple trees from the 1600’s. Woodbridge Fruit Trees has a huge selection of trees that you certainly don’t see in the local nursery. They include amongst many, many others…(all notes and pics from their website)


A true historic apple dating back to the 1600’s in Normandy, France. Famous for making delicious “tartes aux pommes”, this apple holds it’s flesh when cooked. Under an irregular yellowish russeted skin, it has an appealing aromatic flesh that is wonderful eaten fresh and excellent for making cider.

CATSHEAD A bit later (April – May)

An old English cooking apple dating back to the 1600’s, large in size and a long somewhat uneven shape. Renowned as a cooker (a costard) that develops a wonderful spicy flavour.

COURT PENDU PLAT Late (May – June)

This is considered the oldest apple known, introduced into Europe in Roman times. Small in size, yellow skin flushed with orange and red, sometimes russet. Brisk acid flavour when first picked, mellowing to sweet and fully flavoured as it matures. Flowers late (avoids frost) and just superb considering it’s about 1500 years old!

CROFTON Late (May – June)

An attractive small apple with skin red and orange stripes over a green background. The flesh is white, with good crunch, and stores very well. Good size for a lunchbox. Probably originating in Ireland in the 1600’s. Was widely grown as a commercial variety in Australia but less common today.

FENOUILLET GRIS Midseason (March – April)

This is the most unusual apple we grow – it’s as far from the supermarket stereotype as you can get. Originating in France as far back in the 1600’s, a small reddish orange blocky apple almost totally russetted. The flesh is deep yellow and has a distinctly delicious anise flavour.

REINETTE DORÉE Late (May – June)

Also called Golden Reinette, one of Europe’s most famous old apples, as far back as the 1600’s. It ripens fairly late, has a russeted skin and dense aromatic flesh. Used for both eating and cooking, Reinette dorée was typically one of those apples cellared to be used from Christmas onward through an European winter.

Have placed my order (and no, am not associated in any way!) and shall eagerly await their arrival in winter once they have lost their leaves and can be shipped barerooted.


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