Ashmeads Kernel Apple Trees
- Eating: Firm, juicy, citrus-sharp. Suitable for cooking & cider.
- Spur bearer (Good for cordons & espaliers)
- Not self fertile
- Pollination Group D
- Crops in October. Stores till Feb
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
Ashmeads Kernel Apple Trees
Ashmeads Kernel apples are mid season eaters that juice well, and are also good for both cider and cooking.
Characteristics of Ashmeads Kernel Trees:
- Use: Eating: firm and juicy, with a sharp, aromatic flavour. Also great for cooking, juicing and cider.
- Spur Bearer: suitable for cordons & training on wires.
- Tree's growth habit: Average vigour. Upright form.
- Harvest: October
- Store & ripen in a cool, dry place: Until February.
General description of Ashmeads Kernel:
The flavour has been described as "having a crisp nutty snap, exploding with champagne-sherbet juice infused with a lingering scent of orange blossom"; it reminds us of eating lemon and pear drops at the same time. The flesh is firm and juicy. The fruit is quite small and the skin is yellow-green. The fruit keeps well into the new year, getting sweeter the longer it is kept. These apples can also be cooked and they make outstanding cider.
Like many heritage apples, this tree is not a regular cropper: on a good year it can make a bumper crop and on a bad year with a cold spring the harvest can be disappointing. It is also normal for it to begin cropping well a few years later than other trees, but the wait is worth it in our opinion. The blossom is very lovely and the tree is relatively low maintenance.
All of our Ashmeads Kernel trees are grown on MM106 rootstocks, except for the cordons, which are grown on M9 rootstocks.
Pollination Partners for Ashmeads Kernel:
Your trees are self sterile triploids: its flowers must be pollinated to make any fruit and it cannot pollinate other trees.
Ashmeads Kernel is in pollination Group D.
This means that they will be pollinated by other apple trees in pollination Groups C, D and E.
See our Guide to Apple Tree Pollination for a full list of partners & more tips about pollination.
Ashmeads Kernel Disease notes:
Disease resistance: Scab.
Disease susceptibility: Bitter Pit.
History & Parentage:
Ashmead's Kernel is an ancient apple dating back to the very early 1700's when it was first grown from a pip by Dr. Ashmead who lived near Gloucester. In a horticultural show, next to any modern apple, these patchy looking, lumpy fruit would not draw a second glance from the judges. However, it won the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993 with good reason, because this really is a delicious apple and although it is not always a regular cropper, the tree itself is tough.
How Apple Trees are Measured & Delivered:
Our fruit trees are delivered in 3 shapes and you can also buy selected apple trees as ready made cordons.
Maiden: This unbranched tree is the smallest starting size. You can train maidens into espaliers and cordons.
Cordon: Ashmeads Kernel trees are spur-bearers, so they can be made into cordons and espaliers.
Bush: This is a style of freestanding tree with a short trunk of about 60cm. It will grow to about 3 metres tall.
Half-Standard: This is a freestanding style that will grow into a full sized, "normal" apple tree, about 4 metres tall.
Notes on planting Ashmeads Kernel trees:
All fruit trees like a rich soil with decent drainage, protection from the wind and plenty of sun. Apple trees like clay soil, as long as it is not prone to bad waterlogging.
This tree is a potential choice for organic growing in the more humid West and South of Britain, where scab and canker are more common.
Prepare your site before planting:
Improving the soil in advance of planting your apple trees will help them establish quickly and be productive for years to come. After you have destroyed all the weeds and grass (use Neudorff WeedFree Plus weed-killer for tough weeds), you can dig the soil over. Remove any stones and rubbish and mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades. You can do this on planting day, but when you do it weeks or months in advance, you will give the soil time to settle again.
Spacing Ashmeads Kernel apple trees:
Freestanding bushes: 12-18 feet (4-6 metres) between trees and rows.
Freestanding half-standards: 18-30 feet (6-10 metres) between trees and rows.
In general, allow 1 more metre between rows than there is between each tree in the row.
Espaliers need to be spaced at 10-18 feet (3-6 metres) apart.
Watch our video on how to plant a fruit tree for full instructions on planting a bush or half-standard sized tree.
If you are growing a maiden sized apple tree into a freestanding tree, a bamboo cane is enough support.
If you are growing a cordon or espalier, you will need to install training wires to support them.
Remember to water establishing apple trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Apple Tree Planting Accessories:
For bush and half standard apple trees, our tree planting pack includes a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a biodegradable mulch mat with pegs, which protects the soil at the base of your tree from drying out and stops weeds from sprouting.
We recommend using mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of all new trees, especially if your soil is poorly fertile.