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Everlasting apples and tips on their care - with Jim Arbury at RHS Garden Wisley

Posted by Sara Draycott on 13 Nov 2013 at 01:22 PM

The harvest is drawing to a close and this is the end of the annual cycle. The crop of most fruits has been good but later than in recent years. Some apples are still to be picked including the late cultivars ‘Sturmer Pippin’ (pictured below), ‘Allen’s Everlasting’, ‘Ballarat Seedling’ and ‘D’Arcy Spice’. Although these would hang on much later it is good to get them picked by the end of November. This is to avoid damage by hard frosts and birds.

Apple 'Sturmer Pippin' 

These apples will store for a long time but need a long summer to ripen well. This summer has been better suited to early, mid-season and mid to late season cultivars. If you are planning to plant trees this autumn it is good to choose a range of cultivars to cover the whole season including early and mid-season cultivars which are useful in late seasons such as this. I have seen a large number of apples for identification this autumn and I am just finishing off the last now. There been a few unusual cultivars including ‘No Pip’ which is an unusual Devon cultivar which produces fruit with no seeds and ‘Bossom’ which is an old Sussex cultivar.


Apple tree 'Sturmer Pippin'

My thoughts are now turning to pruning of apples and pears. This will start once the leaves have fallen probably in late November. Prune each year to keep the trees in balance between growth and cropping. You can find information on pruning in many books but it is better to see it for real. There are pruning courses around the country that you can attend. I will be carrying out two at Wisley called the Care of the Fruit Garden in Winter on the 23rd and 26th of November. These cover the pruning of hardy fruits including apples, pears, gooseberries and currants. Stone fruits such as plums, cherries and peaches are not covered because they are not pruned in the winter due to the risk of disease infection. We will also be planting trees and bushes when conditions allow including continuing with the replanting of the plum collection.

Apple 'Ballarat Seedling' in the RHS Garden Wisley Fruit Field, 13 November 2013

Jim Arbury 13/11/2013 


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