NUTMEG PIPPIN Small, golden, juicy fruit, with a russeted skin and a rich flavour, with balanced sugar and acid. Mentioned by Bunyard in 1920, but certainly much older. It is very likely that the Nutmeg Cockle Pippin mentioned in the Transactions of the London Horticultural Society, in 1818, is the same. Nutmeg Pippin is not the same as Cockle Pippin, with which it has been confused in the past. Upright trees, with good crops, and storing well. Pollination Group 3




OAKEN PIN The apple of this name currently known is almost certainly not that of Evelyn in the 17th century or Forsyth in 1810, the latter describing it thus- “The Oak Peg, or Oaken Pin, is an oval-shaped middle-sized fruit, of a green colour striped with white. It is very full towards the footstalk, which is small; and keeps till June.” Hogg agrees that the original is different but gives a 19th century provenance to the version currently known. The latter was once widely grown on Exmoor, Devon, and used for cooking though it is also a good dessert apple, with a most unusual oval shape, like the oaken pin used to fasten old doors. The skin is yellow, heavily flushed with deep mahogany and red. Crisp flesh, with a rich, sweet flavour. The fruit is ripe in late September and stores for a month or two. Good crops. Pollination Group 4




OLD FRED Raised by F.W. Wastie of Eynsham, Oxfordshire, in 1922, it was a cross between Allington Pippin and Court Pendu Plat. It was named and exhibited (1944) by his son, J.F. Wastie, also a breeder of fruit. The name ‘Old Fred’ refers to ‘Fred’ W. Wastie. He was known locally as Old Fred, to distinguish him from his fruit breeding son J. ‘Young Fred’ Wastie. The medium sized, flattened truncate conic apples are slightly ribbed with skin of pale yellow, often dotted and with a red/orange flush. Ripe in late October or early November, it is rich, sweet quite firm and a little acid. It becomes sweeter for dessert with storage. Cooked, it is slow to soften, keeps all its shape and is very rich and sweet, with no need for added sugar and it has a very good aftertaste. Excellent for tarts as well as eating raw but must be left until fully ripe. Pretty, dark buds. Pollination Group 4


OLD GROBY Stewart Waine, ‘Stew from Crewe’, as he is known, collects old fruits and grows them on an allotment. He has a substantial collection of rare soft fruits. Stew ranged around Cheshire and he encountered a very old apple tree, when walking as a boy, and went scrumping, of course. 30 years later he went back. This tree was the last remnant of a damson orchard, attached to an old farm. In 2017 he reflected that maybe the tree had seen 50 years of neglect and it was overgrown with brambles. He bravely climbed the 30ft tree, once again, to get some apples and scions and sent some to us. This tree was very upright in growth habit and without any obvious signs of a graft line. He reported that the tree was due for demolition and that has now happened, to provide the usual bijou residences that continue to consume so many valuable old orchards. He has named this apple ‘Old Groby’ from Groby Street, where the tree grew. When he sent us apples we were struck by the unusual colouring – very pale yellow to white skinned, with a pink blush and dark russet at the stalk. Apples started to drop in September but most were fully ripe in October, and all were gone by November, though they will last in storage to December, when they are still juicy but still not sweet. The flavour is very much of lemon juice. Stew reported that he was freezing them and added lemon juice to stop them oxidising. As a former chef, he reflected that lemon juice was often used as a seasoning to bring out flavours in most things, like salt on chocolate, and he professed a liking for sharp tastes, having happily eaten lemons raw as a child. Most would not eat this particular apple raw, but Stew would. It is quite acidic with the flavour of lemons, and very little sugar. When cooked it breaks up quickly and becomes a little more lemony and tangy, but with sugar added it is excellent. Stew considered it the fastest cooking apple ever and with water, sugar and lemon added, the stiff purée will hold a spoon upright! Stew continues to send us wood from newer discoveries of old trees in Cheshire. Pollination Group ?

OLD LOXTON An old, previously unknown, Buckinghamshire apple, brought to us by Richard Swann of Chalfont St. Giles in early 2012. His house was built in an old orchard many years ago and this old tree was left in his garden. There is another ‘Old Loxton’ in a neighbouring garden. The name was reported by a different neighbour who also said it was a very local apple. The medium to large apples are somewhat long and conical, with skin of pale yellow, partly covered with thin, warm orange russet and with a blush and faint amber streaks. The eye is quite deeply set in a slightly snouty basin. It is very late to ripen – in November - and will keep very well, retaining its rich flavour. It will become much sweeter and less sharp with storage when it can be eaten raw with pleasure, but it is primarily a cooking apple. When cooked the flesh keeps its shape but would mash, the flavour becoming even more rich, tangy and sweet enough without the need for added sugar, though some might prefer a little. The flesh is dense and can go dry with light cooking, so water or butter might be added. Pollination Group 4
OLD MAN The Pennell and Sons (Lincoln) nursery catalogue of 1871 lists this as a medium sized dessert apple, ripe in December and says “A well known apple in this county, to which it appears to be local, good, spreading bush”. In 1883 at the National Apple Congress, held at Chiswick, an apple called Old Man was exhibited by Messrs Rowson Brothers of West Torrington, Wragby, Lincolnshire. It was recorded as a dessert apple – small, round, green, russeted, firm and late season. These were the only old records to be found. When we saw an apple of the same name listed in America, it being so implausible that different apples could be given the same quirky name, we sought scions. It fruited for the first time in 2015. The flesh is rather open textured and not particularly juicy but the flavour is rich, very sweet and complex, with only mild acid. A dessert apple to eat with pleasure. It is also a very good cooking apple, softening quickly and becoming very soft and friable. Very sweet and rich flesh with just a little lemon flavour. It is fruity but not quite so tangy as other cooking apples. Ripe in October, it will last to the year end. Pollination Group 5
OLD PEARMAIN The earliest recorded English apple, dating from before 1200AD, as Pearmain or Pearmaine, with many similar names since. It has become known as ‘Old’ Pearmain in more modern times, starting with ‘A Catalogue of Forest Trees,Fruit Trees …… sold by W.A and J.Mackie’, Norwich 1812 who listed it as ‘Old Pearmain’. It is uncertain, even unlikely, that the Old Pearmain still known is that of the 13th century. A dessert apple ripe in November, keeping to January, medium sized and oval, with green-yellow skin streaked and blushed red. Although it is sometimes said that ‘pearmains’ are pear shaped, this is untrue. A pear is wider at the crown than at the base. Apples are the opposite. The flesh is yellowish, tender, juicy and sweet. Pollination Group 4
OLD TANKARD A cider variety, ripe in October and becoming a moderately good eating apple at the end of the year, and storing to January. Large, irregular and ribbed apples, with green yellow skin. Pollination Group 5
OLD TIFF An old cooking apple from the village of Beckley in Oxfordshire. On driving through Beckley, to see another tree, we were struck by the fruit hanging from this impressive tree. The owners, Peter and Elizabeth Wheeler, renamed their cottage ‘Tiff’s House’ when it passed to Mr Wheeler. His grandfather was called Hector Macdonald (no connection with the apple named Hector Macdonald, bred by Charles Ross and named after a military hero) and he built the house in 1926. The site came with a grand old apple tree, substantially aged and already propped up – a survivor of a small orchard. Hector Macdonald was known as ‘Tiff’ and was a builder and stonemason, employed by the firm of Benfield and Loxley to work on the Oxford Colleges. He was also a keen amateur breeder of Irises. He died in the 1980s. His apple is large, ribbed and often asymmetrical, green becoming paler, with some russet patches and developing long, pretty flecks of pale carmine in sunny summers. It is ripe in October and will keep until the end of the year. Cooked, it breaks down easily to a fluffy purée, with a rich tangy flavour, sweet enough without adding sugar. It does not appear to be any currently known variety and the new name has been given by Mr and Mrs Wheeler, in memory of Old Tiff. Pollination Group 4
ONIBURY PIPPIN An old variety from Onibury, Shropshire, of which little is known other than having been raised by Thomas Andrew Knight, who had a nursery at Onibury, in the early 19th century. It appeared at the 1934 Apple and Pear conference, but without description. It has re-appeared in modern times and we are grateful to Andrew Large for providing us with scion wood. A medium sized dessert apple, possibly once used for cider. Apples are medium sized and roundish conical, with skin of matt, pale yellow, sometimes with russet dots and patches. Ripe in September. There is often a fleshy protuberance at the stalk sending it at an oblique angle. The flesh is firm, lemony, not that juicy, but sweet and richly flavoured. By mid November the apples are shrinking and no longer crisp, but very rich, mellow and sweet. Pollination Group 5
  ONTARIO Raised around 1820 as a cross between Wagener and Northern Spy, it was once widely grown in North America and Western Europe, but is now rarely encountered, despite being of top quality. Bunyard says it was raised by Mr Charles Arnold in Ontario. It has been known in Britain for nearly 100 years. The large, flattish, rounded and ribbed apples are pale green with thin streaks of russet and faint stripes of pale crimson. They are crisp, sweet and tangy and ripen in late October. Crops are abundant, hence its use in commercial planting. It will store well until May and is very high in vitamin C. It is also a good cooking apple, keeping its shape. Thanks to Mary Walters of Oxford, for providing scions from her old tree. T*. Pollination Group 4    
ORANGE There are several apples of this name noted in the old literature. This one is believed by us to be ‘Orange 2’ of the National Apple Register; the French one, which has been known here since 1872, when Scott reported that he had obtained it from Monsieur Leroy of Angers. We have re-introduced it, having been sent scions by the French national Collection. Scott described it as medium sized, of top quality and in season from October to November. It is roundish, with skin of fine yellow, shaded with crimson and sprinkled with grey and light coloured dots. The flesh is white, tender, juicy, mild and pleasantly subacid. It is best left as long as possible before picking for the fullest flavour. Pollination Group 5