The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards

Bramley's Seedling apple



Bramley's Seedling is without doubt the definitive English cooking apple, and in terms of flavor ranks as one of the world's great culinary apples.  Although England has produced a large number of excellent "cookers", Bramley is so dominant that the others are largely forgotten.  Most cooks reach automatically for the trusty Bramley, and it is equally prevalent in commercial apple bakery products in the UK.  Its key feature is the very high level of acidity, and the excellent strong apple flavour it lends to any apple dish.

In England a clear distinction is made between "eaters" and "cookers".  English apple cookery usually calls for apples which cook to a puree - and the intense acidity of Bramley's Seedling guarantees the lightest and fluffiest of purees.  This contrasts with the traditions of other countries, notably France and the USA, where cooks often prefer apples which keep their shape in cooking.  For this reason Bramley's Seedling is not as well-known outside England as some of the other popular English apple varieties.  It is quite widely planted in gardens in Denmark (where by 1938 it was considered to be the 4th most popular variety grown) and is now becoming popular in the USA as a result of increasing interest in English apple varieties.

Bramley's Seedling trees are extremely vigorous - at least a size larger than most other apple varieties on any given rootstock.  They are quite easy to grow, and have attractive crimson blossom.  The only complication for gardeners is that Bramley's Seedling is a triploid variety, with three sets of genes instead of the more usual two.  As a result it needs two different pollinating apple trees nearby to ensure successful pollination.

They are also notably long-lived.  2009 was the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Bramley's Seedling, and - remarkably - the original tree was still alive in the same garden in Nottinghhamshire, England, where it was planted as a pip by a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford, 200 years before.  It takes its name from a subsequent owner of the house, a Mr Bramley who allowed a local nurseryman to propagate it in the 1850s on condition that it was given his name.

Last updated 24 Nov 2012.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.4 out of 5. Total votes cast: 7
 

Visitor comments

(Use the form at the bottom to add your own comments about this variety)

02 Sep 2013 
We have two BS trees in my birth-home. They were old and big when i was born 61 years ago. The still carry several hundred Kg's of apples every year. My old mom collects them, and give them away to the whole neighborhood. I moved 200Km's away, and have put some branches on one of my new appletrees here, and after two years, they already carry 18 BIG ones, heureka. All the best, Ebbe


19 Jul 2011 
Hi, I have just bought a Bramley seedling and it has several apples on, some of which fell off when planting. Its a bit early in the season to be harvesting them but will the fallen ones continue to ripen?, can I use them now? what is best??


16 Feb 2011 
I have over the last few months planted the beginning of my home orchard. I started with a couple of gifted Katy's, 3 Red Devils purchased from this site (thanks!) and most recently a Bramley Seedling from my local garden centre. Since I'd grown up with a small orchard at home I couldn't consider not having one of my own at our new house. I've gone for all large root stock to give the summer shaded orchard feel. I'm currently researching pollination due to just having picked up a Golden Delicious tree for a fiver and just determining that it 'fits' with the rest before I plant it. Looking forward to my first starter crops this year! To the Aussies and Americans looking for Bramleys, I'd offer to send you some but I'm not sure they'd go the distance and wold cost a fortunte to ship. Has anyone actually made any homemade cider from them?


01 Feb 2011 
We have one Bramley tree in our garden here in Dublin. It gives enough apples for the whole Winter most years. It's the only cooker I ever remember eating but this is probaby because others can't compete.


13 Dec 2010 
I grew up in Pennsylvania and we had an old apple tree outside our back door that had the best apples for making absolutely out of this world pies and apple sauce. The tree is still there, but unfortunately I'm not. I've spent years trying to find out what kind of apples they were. This past summer when I was in Ireland I saw apples in the store that looked amazingly like my apples except they were bigger. I looked to see what they were called and saw that they were Bramley apples. A few days later I stopped at a restaurant and had an apple tart that tasted exactly like the pies my mother used to make and when I asked what kind of apples they were made with was told that they were Bramley apples. Now, if I could just find Bramley apples in Florida ...


10 Nov 2010 
Kimmy...... It is my understanding that "Bramley Original" should only be used to describe trees that are propagated from scion wood taken directly from the original tree, which still grows in Nottingham - England. There are claims that what is sold as Bramley by most nurseries is somewhat mutated, due to so many propagations in the last two centuries. It is claimed that grafts of Bramley Original produce slightly superior fruit and a slightly better-structured tree than what is usually sold as Bramley.


07 Nov 2010 
I'm trying to find out the difference between a "Bramley's Original" and a "Bramley's Seedling". Some mail-order Web sites sell both varieties. There must be some physical or flavor differences or they wouldn't sell both varieties. Also, does anyone know of a source for both of these varieties in California? I'm not interested in dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstock. I want the tree to grow to full size - 30 ft tall or higher. M-111 rootstock might be okay, but nothing smaller than that. Nurseries outside of California usually will not ship to California, unfortunately, and most nurseries only have the smaller growing rootstock.


11 Oct 2010 
I planted a bramley apple tree about 7-8yrs ago, can't remember exactly, and it has grown well and gives us the most delicious apples, much, much redder than ordinary bramleys. It is so sweet it needs no sugar when cooked and has a lovely fluffy tecture. Does anyone else have a red bramley?


12 Sep 2010 
I've been trying in vain to find someone or somewhere selling BRAMLEY apples, Granny Smith's are a poor substitute for cooking apples. Is there anyone in NSW growing Bramleys?


14 Aug 2010 
A good and useful website. My Bramley (about five years old) this year has produced a large quanitity of smallish apples. Should they have been thinned earlier in the season or will they still swell? David Stuart, Gateshead, UK, foxtrot_delta_sierra@yahoo.co.uk


14 Jun 2010 
saw delia's recipe for mincemeat and it called for bramley apples....what is a good substitute for this here in the states...thanks!!!


20 May 2010 
Have to disagree that the Bramley is unsuitable outside a large commercial orchard. My family home in the UK has a small orchard consisting of four small Bramleys that have been going strong since my grandparents planted them back in the fifties. Every year we get so many apples we have to give away vast quantities. But the rest store very well throughout winter in an apple rack. In my view, no English apple orchard, private or commercial, is complete without a Bramley, the best cooking apple, and a Cox Orange Pippin, the best desert apple, both symbolising the very quintessence of an English cottage garden.


16 May 2010 
It may be different here in the UK, but my Bramley flowers at the beginning of the season, usually the second variety out of forty to come into blossom. Mine are huge vigorous trees, at least eighty years old, the branches are about twelve inches in diameter - when they go above thirty feet high we cut a couple of the highest branches out and they keep us in firewood for weeks. As the trunks are hollow it seems a good idea to take some of the weight off them. Ours are Crimson Bramleys, pretty red flushed fruit, many of them are very large, the size of two clenched fists. We get, at a guess, about ten wheelbarrows full of fruit from each tree, they've certainly repaid us well for the price my grandfather paid for them.


18 Apr 2010 
Bramley's being a triploid variety, it is sterile and requires another apple tree for pollination. Also, since Bramley's blooms very late, someone with room for only one other tree would do well to choose a self-fertile or partially self-fertile cultivar that blooms no earlier than mid-season in order to set Bramley fruit. A few possibilites that come to mind (no doubt there are more): John Grieve, Greensleeves, Kingston Black, Wolf River, Fiesta, Ellison's Orange, Northern Spy. Looking up the relatives of these cultivars may yield an option to suit your taste.


20 Mar 2010 
Like Cox's, Bramley's is a poor variety for growing outside of large commercial orchards because of its awkward pollination requirements. It is supposedly far better on a large root-stock. Agreed on the comment about modern supermarket Bramley's - very unripe, though good flavour - fruit picked riper is a lot less tart.


14 Mar 2010 
Bruno, If you are located in the States, look up Raintree Nursery via a search engine. They offer Bramley on semi-dwarf rootstock (EMLA 7) which their catalog indicates should grow to about eleven feet tall, and semi-standard (MM111) which I would guess may reach 17 feet. I have ordered five different fruit trees from this company (four apples: Liberty, Queen Cox, Kingston Black and Ashmead's Kernel; and one sour cherry: English Morello) and my trees are doing well. I hope for a first crop this season.


11 Dec 2009 
I don't really feel Bramley is "extremely tart". Very unripe ones (usually quite dark green) often found in supermarkets can be sharp. If allowed to ripen they can be eaten raw (I always steal a slice or two when cooking them) and need only a little sugar when cooked. Try adding sultanas or raisins to get the sweetness. This is a lovely apple.


23 Oct 2009 
Unfortunately I have never seen them anywhere except Ireland and the UK.


07 Aug 2009 
Do you know where I may be able to buy Bramley apples??


13 May 2009 
The Bramley is the definitive cooking apple. Vastly superior to all others when used in tarts and pies. Because of the extreme tartness it requires large quantities of sugar giving a moist well flavoured result.


25 Sep 2008 
The original bramley apple tree can be found in the garden of the Bramley Apple Public House in the main street in Southwell opposite Southwell Minster



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Bramley's Seedling is the definitive English cooking apple. It produces heavy crops of large apples with a sharp acidic flavour, which cook down to a smooth puree.

Bramley's Seedling phototape

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Unknown
  • Originates from: Nottinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1837
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1009
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession number: 1974-341

Identification

  • Fruit colour: Green
  • Flesh colour: White
  • Flesh colour: White to Cream, pale yellow
  • Flesh colour: White to Greenish to Greenish Yellow
  • Flesh colour: Yellow to Very Yellow
  • Fruit size: Very large
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit size: Large
  • Fruit shape: Flat-round
  • Bultitude apple group: 3. Flushed / striped, smooth, acidic, culinary

Using

  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Juice
  • Uses: Hard cider
  • Cooking result: Puree
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Sharper
  • Harvest period: Mid-Late season
  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more
  • Vitamin C content: High

Growing

  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Triploid
  • Pollinating others: Poor
  • Vigour: Very large
  • Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency
  • Precocity: Slow to start bearing
  • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
  • Attractive features: Attractive blossom
  • General disease resistance: Good
  • Period of origin: 1800 - 1849

Climate

  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
  • Blossom frost-resistance: Susceptible

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

Disease resistance

  • Scab  - Very resistant
  • Mildew  - Some resistance
  • Fireblight  - Some resistance
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some resistance
  • Bitter pit  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Offspring of this variety:

Sports (natural genetic mutations) of this variety:

Bramley's Seedling identification photos from official fruit collections

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ARS GRIN

UK National Fruit Collection

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UK National Fruit Collection

Bramley's Seedling identification photos from website visitors


Bramley's Seedling
Bramley's Seedling


Fruit tree register

Do you have a tree of this variety in your garden or orchard? If so please register the details here and contribute to our international register of fruit trees.

The following Bramley's Seedling trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United States

United Kingdom

France

Ireland

Italy

Spain

Sweden

Canada

Australia

New Zealand

Switzerland



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2014 season

  • 15th May  2014  - tree owned by Bruce in TAUNTON, United Kingdom
  • 28th April  2014  - tree owned by Zoe in MILTON KEYNES, United Kingdom
  • 25th April  2014  - tree owned by Steve in EXMOUTH, United Kingdom
  • April  2014  - tree owned by Robert in CARDIFF, United Kingdom
  • April  2014  - tree owned by Amanda in CAHORS, France
  • 25th March  2014  - tree owned by Dave in Santa Barbara, United States
  • March  2014  - tree owned by Simon in SANT MIQUEL DE FLUVIÀ, Spain
  • March  2014  - tree owned by Simon in SANT MIQUEL DE FLUVIA, Spain

2013 season

  • June  2013  - tree owned by Gillian in , United Kingdom
  • 28th May  2013  - tree owned by Mark in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom
  • 28th May  2013  - tree owned by Mark in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom
  • 28th May  2013  - tree owned by Mark in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom
  • 26th May  2013  - tree owned by Mark in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom
  • 26th May  2013  - tree owned by Frank in Aghadowey, United Kingdom
  • 20th May  2013  - tree owned by Bruce in TAUNTON, United Kingdom
  • 20th May  2013  - tree owned by Martin in BASINGSTOKE, United Kingdom
  • 9th May  2013  - tree owned by Jean in Martock, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 30th September  2012  - tree owned by Eric in DUNEDIN, New Zealand
  • 24th May  2012  - tree owned by David in MT SHASTA, United States
  • 14th May  2012  - tree owned by Frank in Aghadowey, United Kingdom
  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom
  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by Wendy in LYMINGE, United Kingdom
  • 8th May  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 8th May  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 3rd May  2012  - tree owned by Peter in EYE, United Kingdom
  • May  2012  - tree owned by Mrs Che in BINGLEY, United Kingdom
  • 28th April  2012  - tree owned by Bruce in TAUNTON, United Kingdom
  • 27th April  2012  - tree owned by Jacques in HAVERHILL, United Kingdom
  • 16th April  2012  - tree owned by Jan in WINCHESTER, United Kingdom
  • 9th April  2012  - tree owned by Angie in JALON, Spain

2011 season

  • 3rd September  2011  - tree owned by Eric in DUNEDIN, New Zealand
  • 20th May  2011  - tree owned by David in MT SHASTA, United States
  • May  2011  - tree owned by Spice in ALDERSHOT, United Kingdom
  • May  2011  - tree owned by Diana in HEYWOOD, United Kingdom
  • 27th April  2011  - tree owned by Mrs Che in BINGLEY, United Kingdom
  • 26th April  2011  - tree owned by Wendy in LYMINGE, United Kingdom
  • 24th April  2011  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom
  • 24th April  2011  - tree owned by Petra in RUSHDEN, United Kingdom
  • 24th April  2011  - tree owned by David in GATESHEAD, United Kingdom
  • 23rd April  2011  - tree owned by Melvin in WAKEFIELD, United Kingdom
  • 23rd April  2011  - tree owned by Bruce in TAUNTON, United Kingdom
  • 21st April  2011  - tree owned by Mary in , United Kingdom
  • 18th April  2011  - tree owned by Jan in WINCHESTER, United Kingdom
  • 17th April  2011  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom
  • 17th April  2011  - tree owned by Dr in PETERSFIELD, United Kingdom
  • 15th April  2011  - tree owned by Mark in SADDLEWORTH, United Kingdom
  • 15th April  2011  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • April  2011  - tree owned by Mrs Sop in FLAMBOROUGH, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 19th June  2010  - tree owned by David in MT SHASTA, United States
  • 21st May  2010  - tree owned by Mrs J in settle, United Kingdom
  • 17th May  2010  - tree owned by Wendy in LYMINGE, United Kingdom
  • 9th May  2010  - tree owned by John in READING, United Kingdom
  • 6th May  2010  - tree owned by Stuart in Newbury, United Kingdom
  • 5th May  2010  - tree owned by Jan in WINCHESTER, United Kingdom
  • 2nd May  2010  - tree owned by Matt in CHESTER, United Kingdom
  • 28th April  2010  - tree owned by N. in CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
  • 27th April  2010  - tree owned by Marian in STREET, United Kingdom
  • 10th April  2010  - tree owned by Nikolai in DUBLIN, Ireland
  • April  2010  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • April  2010  - tree owned by Chris in KIDDERMINSTER, United Kingdom
  • April  2010  - tree owned by Mrs Che in BINGLEY, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 19th May  2009  - tree owned by David in MT SHASTA, United States
  •  May  2009  - tree owned by Mary in BEGBROKE, United Kingdom
  • 23rd April  2009  - tree owned by N. in CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
  • April  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom
  •  April  2009  - tree owned by Elizabeth in EVESHAM, United Kingdom

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Latest harvest records for this variety

2014 season

  • 2nd week October  2014  - tree owned by Mans in GRANNA, Sweden
  • March  2014  - tree owned by Mark in PERTH, Australia

2013 season

  • 3rd week October  2013  - tree owned by Zoe in MILTON KEYNES, United Kingdom
  • 1st week October  2013  - tree owned by Bruce in TAUNTON, United Kingdom
  • October  2013  - tree owned by Mark in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom
  • October  2013  - tree owned by Mark in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom
  • October  2013  - tree owned by Mark in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom
  • October  2013  - tree owned by Matt in BLACKLION, Ireland
  • March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in NELSON, New Zealand

2012 season

  • 2nd week October  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week October  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 1st week September  2012  - tree owned by David in MT SHASTA, United States

2011 season

  • 3rd week October  2011  - tree owned by Peter in EYE, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week October  2011  - tree owned by Bruce in TAUNTON, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week October  2011  - tree owned by Mandy in BEDFORD, United Kingdom
  • October  2011  - tree owned by Diana in HEYWOOD, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2011  - tree owned by Jan in WINCHESTER, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2011  - tree owned by David in MT SHASTA, United States
  • 4th week August  2011  - tree owned by Doreen in BIRCHINGTON on sea, United Kingdom
  • 4th week August  2011  - tree owned by Nish in CHULMLEIGH, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week August  2011  - tree owned by Spice in ALDERSHOT, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week July  2011  - tree owned by Jan in CASTEL D'AIANO, Italy
  • 3rd week July  2011  - tree owned by Jan in CASTEL D'AIANO, Italy

2010 season

  • 3rd week October  2010  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week October  2010  - tree owned by Nikolai in DUBLIN, Ireland
  • 3rd week October  2010  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week October  2010  - tree owned by Dr in PETERSFIELD, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week October  2010  - tree owned by Chris in LOOE, United Kingdom
  • 1st week October  2010  - tree owned by Chris in KIDDERMINSTER, United Kingdom
  • October  2010  - tree owned by Mrs Che in BINGLEY, United Kingdom
  • October  2010  - tree owned by Freyja in KINGS MEABURN/ PENRITH, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by Melvin in WAKEFIELD, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week September  2010  - tree owned by Jan in WINCHESTER, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week September  2010  - tree owned by Matt in CHESTER, United Kingdom
  • September  2010  - tree owned by Nish in CHULMLEIGH, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • November  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week October  2009  - tree owned by Chris in LOOE, United Kingdom
  • October  2009  - tree owned by Mary in BEGBROKE, United Kingdom
  • October  2009  - tree owned by Mrs Che in BINGLEY, United Kingdom
  • October  2009  - tree owned by N. in CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by Elizabeth in EVESHAM, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by David in MT SHASTA, United States
  • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by Chris in KIDDERMINSTER, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week September  2009  - tree owned by Jan in WINCHESTER, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week September  2009  - tree owned by Andrea in MALDON, United Kingdom

Where to buy apple trees

The following fruit tree nurseries offer Bramley's Seedling apple trees for sale:

Where to buy apples

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