Norfolk Royal Russet Apple Trees

General Info Pollinator
Shade Full Sun
Area Scotland & The North
Soil Good, Well Drained
Pollination Group Pollination Group C
Fruiting Mid Season Fruiting
Type Eating

Malus domestica Norfolk Royal Russet

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Norfolk Royal Russet Eating Apples

This lovely eating apple was produced from a russeted sport of the popular Norfolk Royal. As such, Norfolk Royal Russet has that classic textured golden russet laid over a yellow and red-splashed skin. It fruits in September, the flesh soft and chewy, and almost pear-like in texture, with a sweet, rich flavour. The apples will store well in a cool, dry place until December, perhaps January. The blossom, in spring, is white, and the leaves a pale whitish green. Norfolk Royal Russet is grown on an MM106 rootstock so won't become huge, up to 4m, eventually. It's a tasty and well-behaved addition to our range of eating apple trees.


  • Use: Eating.
  • Pruning: Spur bearer.
  • Pollination: Self-sterile, Pollinator.
  • Pollination Group C
  • Picking: September.
  • Colour: Yellow/red over russeted skin

How to grow Royal Russet

Norfolk Royal Russet is a spur-bearing apple tree grafted onto a semi-dwarfing MM106 rootstock. For the novice apple grower, this simply means it's a good-sized tree, eventually reaching 3-4m in height and spread, that's strong and reliable. Spur-bearing apple trees produce fruit buds on two-year-old wood, as short, branched shoots on the older wood, so they're tidy and compact as trees. You could grow Norfolk Royal Russet as a cordon or an espalier, too, training it to a sunny, south-facing wall or sturdy fence. It's a treatment that's particularly effective in more formal gardens, or where space is at a premium. For successful fertilisation and plenty of apples in September, as well as a sheltered spot where pollinators can buzz freely and easily, you'll need to plant Norfolk Royal Russet near another apple tree in the same or adjacent pollinating group – so in this case B, C or D. Try Adams Pearmain, for example, which is also in group C, but a later fruiter, cropping in mid-October (thus you'll extend your apple season, too), or a crab apple will do the same job.

If you're growing Norfolk Royal Russet as an orchard tree, or as a focal point in the lawn, it's hard to beat the gorgeous effect of a clematis or rambling rose weaving its way through the branches of an apple tree. Try something dramatic and colourful like a striped candy pink Nelly Moser clematis or a gorgeous romantic rambling rose.

Did You Know?

The original Norfolk Royal, an early 20th century variety, is now quite rare, but was a good seller in its day. This russet version is a sport (one mutated branch) of that tree, found by retired Royal Air Force chaplain Rev CE Wright, in his garden at Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk, and was introduced to the market in 1983. It turned out to be a big improvement on the original: not often the case in a sport, which tend to differ only in appearance from their parent.

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Bareroot planting is best done between November and April
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