Irish Peach Apple Trees
Malus domestica Irish Peach
The Irish Peach is a handsome tree with an upward spreading habit that bears some of the best and earliest apples around. The fruit itself is of a medium size with an orange-red streaked flush over a yellowy green base. The flesh is white and the taste is a good balance of sweetness with acidity. No other dessert apple ripens as early as this - you can usually pick towards the end of July - and it is at its best when eaten straight from the tree. This is definitely not a fruit to store but its advantage is that it crops when most other fruits are either over - raspberries, strawberries - or have not properly got into their stride - apples, plums, autumn raspberries, pears and the rest. The blossom begins at the end of April and is pretty well spent by mid-May so any pollinator from group A, B or C will do. Irish Peach has some resistance to woolly aphid, mildew, bitter pit and cedar apple rust making it a dependable tree and a good cropper.
Irish Peach of an Apple
As a reasonably large and pretty tree, Irish Peach will make a good feature in your garden, not just a bearer of apples. Surrounded by long grass filled with Camassias or Triumph Tulips, like the pretty Hemisphere, which will flower at the same time as the blossom is out you could not imagine a more pastoral scene. As a strong and robust tree, it would also cope with a lovely rambler - Paul's Himalayan Rambler would be good - scrambling through its branches or any Clematis but favour a more exploratory one like the deep purple Etoile Violette. You will also need to think of another apple tree to grow with your Irish Peach to act as a pollinator: a small, neat and excellent cooker to do this could be Reverend W Wilkes or for another dessert apple that you can harvest a little later try Lord Lambourne. And the best use for the Irish Peach apart from eating the apples before the wasps get to them would be to make Tarte Tatin with lots of very thick cream...
- Height: Bushes reach 3 metres, half-standards touch 4.5 metres
- Use: eating/dessert
- Flavour: aromatic with peach overtones
- Pruning: partial tip bearer
- Pollination: Not self-fertile
- Pollination Group: group B
- Picking: August but does not store
- Apple colour: orange/red over yellowy/green
Things to know about the Irish Peach
It almost sounds like one of those "There was an Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman" jokes that this apple tree should be named the Irish Peach. Did they really get confused when they bred it in Sligo in the 1810s or is the peachy taste that obvious? We think the latter! It was sent to the London Horticultural Society by the nurseryman John Robertson of Kilkenny in 1819 and became extremely popular in Victorian and Edwardian England when it was grown commercially in Kent. It has fallen from favour because it does not store, but it is an outstanding apple.