Bloody Ploughman Apple Trees
- Eating & Cooking
- Mild sweetness. Crisp & juicy.
- Spur bearer (Good for cordons & espaliers)
- Not self fertile
- Pollination Group D
- RHS Plants for Pollinators
- Crops in September. Stores till November.
Bloody Ploughman Apple Trees
Bloody Ploughman apple trees produce an early-mid season dual-purpose apple.
Lovely big, chunky, and red, it makes a decent apple sauce. The flesh is crisp and juicy with a gentle flavour that makes a nice change from really sweet varieties. The ripe fruit can darken to an almost purple colour, with stained flesh that makes a beautiful juice.
This vigorous Scottish breed will do well in cold spots.
- Use: Eating or Cooking.
- Light, refreshing flavour, not very sweet. A crisp and juicy bite.
- Spur Bearer: suitable for cordons & espaliers, trained on wires.
- Tree's growth habit: Strong vigour.
- Harvest: Around mid-September.
- Store & ripen in a cool, dry place: Until November.
All of our Bloody Ploughman trees are grown on MM106 rootstocks.
Pollination Partners for Bloody Ploughman:
Your trees are self sterile and their flowers must be pollinated to make fruit.
Bloody Ploughman is in pollination Group D.
This means that they will cross-pollinate with 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.
Did You Know?
This tree originated from Carse of Gowrie in Scotland and was first sold commercially in 1883.
The folklore behind it is superb: a gamekeeper of the Megginch Estate (the home of Baroness Strange in the 20th century) shot a ploughman for poaching apples. The ploughman's body, with the stolen apples still in his pockets, was dumped on his widow's doorstep. Too grief stricken to eat, she threw the apples out onto the household rubbish midden, whence grew a solitary tree, the fruit all red with her late husband's blood.
Needless to say, with a story like that, the fruit immediately became a big hit in Scotland, and the original tree was a local tourist attraction for many years!
How Apple Trees are Measured & Delivered:
Our fruit trees are delivered in up to 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: Bloody Ploughman 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 Bloody Ploughman 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.
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 Bloody Ploughman 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.
Wire-trained cordons can be planted in rows 60-100cms apart.
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.