The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards

Charles Ross apple



Charles Ross is a classic English late-Victorian apple, nearly always described as "handsome".

It is a cross between Cox's Orange Pippin, and an older English cooking apple called Peasgood Nonsuch. The result is a versatile apple, which looks like a large Cox's Orange Pippin, with the characteristic red-orange streaks, but sometimes with a more yellow background.

The flesh is juicy but quite light, becoming almost powdery as it matures. The flavour is very sweet, but not bland - it has some of the aromatic qualities of Cox's Orange Pippin and is reminscent of pears.

Charles Ross can be used as a dessert variety. The flavour is quite sharp in September but sweetens if you keep it. It is also a useful cooking variety. When fresh from the tree the flesh does not entirely breakdown into a puree, so it is ideal if you like apple pies with chunky apple pieces. Being quite large and juicy it is also a good variety for making your own fresh apple juice.

Last updated 10 Feb 2014.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.4 out of 5. Total votes cast: 8
 

Visitor comments

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

09 Nov 2013 
When I was a 10yr-old boarding school boy long ago I took a box of new-picked Charles Ross back in late September - good then - after a month the remnants were superb.


08 Oct 2013 
Exceptional apple. As well as being a superb dual purpose cooker/eater, makes a distinctive 'West Coast' cider - pale, straw colour, low tannin but brisk, fruity flavour. Best to use a champagne yeast.


18 Aug 2011 
My tree is about six years old now and it has at last produced approx 50 fruit, some real whoppers. Last year I had about 15 and they did not taste that brilliant. Still not quite sure when to pick them.


01 Oct 2010 
In answer to the Q about cider, yes they do make very nice cider and apple wine. I usually make about 30 bottles a year. I would suggest about 1-1.5lb's of sugar per gallon.


26 Sep 2010 
I am so pleased to find out the name of the apples on our 102 year old tree (at least I think it's that old). Have lived here for 21 years and have always wondered which variety it is. Just tasting one now ( in late September): firm white flesh, creamy green skin with red blush. It is slightly tart, crisp but also sweet. We get masses of apples every year but usually leave them for the birds to feed on all winter. Some years the tree is bent over with the weight of the apples. They do rot on the tree as mentioned by others here. The tree is curved and pruned to the same shape, a very good feature outside the kitchen window where lots of birds visit it and the seed feeder. Perhaps I will start eating them myself now.


09 Sep 2010 
Our tree, inherited with our house, is at least 75 years old and still produces excellent crops. It is a beautiful fruit for apple pies or a ready to eat apple.


05 Sep 2010 
Does anyone know if Charles Ross amkes good cider


14 Aug 2010 
Don't know whether Margaret Brown of Berwickshire (September 2009) now knows that Charles Ross are self-fertilising as the website says. I planted ours about three years ago, nothing until this year, large good healthy fruit in small quantity which is just as well as the tree is still immature and could't support the weight of any more. Have had to support the fruit bearing branches.


12 Mar 2010 
hi, i brought mine from woolworths 2 years ago, we got a bit of fruit last year (about 10 apples off a very small tree) all were a good size and we should get more this time round. the apples are lovely with pork and very good cooking apples, we didnt keep and to try for eating. previous poster asked about growing tips? i planted mine in very heavy clay in South Glous. no trouble at all.


08 Oct 2009 
Charles Ross is a mid-season semi-fertile pollinator (Group C from A-E) and so crops better if grown in the company of another pollinator from B, C or D. http://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/Apple-Tree-Pollination


22 Sep 2009 
We have just been given a Charles Ross apple tree as a present to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. can anyone tell me if I have to get another apple tree to grown with it or will it not require Pollination.


09 Sep 2009 
I've just bought a Charles Ross fom Daleside Nurseries Nr Harrogate as it's about at the same latitude and height above sea level. It's still in it's pot and will be planted out within the next week or so. Does anyone have any tips for afterplanting care? Cheers. Fran.


03 Sep 2009 
I planted mine 35 years ago. I've had enormous crops on a regular basis. They cook or eat but not for very long before they become woody. I freeze enough for winter and save a few large boxes full to throw out for the birds in hard winter weather


18 Aug 2009 
We have a Charles Ross tree in our allotment (in SW London) which we purchased from Brogdales around 7 years ago. Every year without fail the crop has been fantastic (including the first year). The apples this year are huge and exceptionally juicy. We have it paired with another apple tree - also purchased from Brogdales which is a perfect pollination partner (unfortunately not sure what it is but it is another fantastic cooker).


21 Jun 2009 
Roger, you can buy the juice here - Charles Ross Apple Juice


17 May 2009 
I grew up in a garden in North Kent where there were many now rare varieties of apples. I always thought that Charles Ross was one of the best. I would like to grow one as a fan against a stone wall. Does anyone know if this is wise or possible?


13 Nov 2008 
I too have got mine from Sainsburys. Who'd have thought a major supermarket chain would come up trumps with unusual varieties? I got Early Windsor from there too.


10 Nov 2008 
First time I've come across Charles Ross and what a great find. Large fruit, firm distinctive bite/flesh, and a pleasant taste. Found them hidden away under a dessert apple range in Sainsburys in poly bags.


19 Oct 2008 
My apple tree was already elderly when I moved into my house in 1991. I never knew what variety it was but enjoyed the fruit a lot. I took an apple to Brogdale Farm Apple Festival and it was identified as Charles Ross. I fully agree with others' comments that the fruit rots if left on the tree, but it makes wonderful apple sauce and is a delicious eater.


19 Oct 2008 
Have discovered today via Brogdale that the lovely apples in our garden, that remain from an old orchard, are Charles Ross. I ate one too soon in August - they are best in September. They are on clay and date from at least 1910. We have other old fruit trees including the Victorian Annie Elizabeth - a very fine and red cooking apple.


15 Oct 2008 
Our Charles Ross was planted by an Uncle to commemorate the birth of my sister in 1926!! It still fruits magnificently every year .. alas the fruit was so plentiful last year - the weight split a large branch from the main trunk...but it struggled manfully this year...although the fruit was not so large. Blue-tits have nested for the past ten years in a hole in the trunk....New branches have appeared about two feet from the ground at the base of the trunk....so it doesn't appear to have given up the ghost yet! A remarkable tree!


06 Oct 2008 
Our Charles Ross is about 20yrs old, bought from Frank Mathews nursery at Tenbury. Is planted with 6 other varieties and fruits very well with minimum pruning and NO DISEASE problems.Good for home juicing.


03 Oct 2008 
I grew up in a house in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, where we had a large untidy Charles Ross apple tree. The apples were delicious to eat, both straight from the tree, or stewed. I still keep in touch with our next door neighbour, and am fairly sure the tree is still in our old garden. Since I am now 65 years old, that would make it a pretty old tree.! I can check quite easily if it still exists.


24 Sep 2008 
We found the above comments very helpful in identifying our one apple tree. We have lived here for 17 years without knowing what it is, until last weekend when we found some at a local "apple viewing" event. The comments above about not keeping and rotting on the tree if left unpicked confirmed our discovery. We did not realise Charles Ross is an eater, we must always have tried it too soon. Thanks to all!


16 Sep 2008 
I have a charles ross tree. It is full of apples almost every year. Some grow very large. They eat from mid-sept. when they are firm juicy slightly tart and delicious. In oct they sweeten and become softer. By nov. they are past their best. They do not keep. never tried cooking with them. In late sept. and early oct they are the best eating apple I have tasted and they look good too, like a large Cox in colour


03 Sep 2008 
I have 2 Charles Ross Apple Trees. I planted them 2 years ago, no fruit appeared last year, however there is quite a promising crop now. Unfortunately the leaves of the tree appear withered with a type of rust on them. What is this and how can I rectify the problem?


03 Aug 2008 
The most delicious of eating apples, they do not keep welland are hard to come by, I asked my greengrocer to obtain some but he said he had not seen them in the market for years. Every year I go to Wisleys fruit sale in hope but have never been lucky enough to find them - well worth planting.


15 Jul 2008 
Duskin farm make 'charles ross' apple juice, am just about to order some from Lembas food co-op based on the comments on this page :-)


11 May 2008 
My late father once told me that, on one of his cycling trips before the war, he stopped at a farm and bought some apples which turned out to be the most delicious he had ever tasted. So good, in fact that he went back to ask what variety they were. "Charles Ross", he was told. He took note of the name, but, despite many enquiries, never came across them again. I myself have never seen them on sale, and would love to taste one before I die.


09 Nov 2007 
Am I alone in finding Charles Ross apples being widely sold as 'Cox' apples; with the latter being almost unavailable. Is this a new commercial fraud? OP: That seems a bit unlikely, as Charles Ross are not that common!


12 Oct 2007 
I have a Charles Ross apple tree which is approx six years old but so far we have not had much success with it fruiting. This year a few apples grew to maturing but are very mealy and dry to eat,not crisp and juicy at all as I would have expected. Is there anything I can do to improve things or should I take it out and start again.


05 Oct 2007 
I grow this apple on a tree about 33 years old. It is absolutely delicious and fruits every year. The apples can be huge, so I no longer thin them out; that way the apples are a better size. The apples should be picked from the tree, otherwise they start to rot before they fall. Once picked, they need to be eaten within days or they start to decay. A beautiful apple!


03 Aug 2007 
I have tasted this fruit which I think is just delicious. It is a crisp apple with a marked orange flavour and white flesh.


03 Aug 2007 
I am moving house this week and will dearly miss the old Charles Ross apple tree that was already mature in my garden when I moved in over 16years ago. It has given me many years of wonderful apples which are wonderful to cook with, tasty and versatile. It's a shame the apples don't really keep well unless they are refrigerated. Though it does sometimes have a completely 'blank' year or one when it doesn't give big apples, the other years have more than made up for it with the tree struggling to cope with the number and size of apples.



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Handsome, juicy, versatile English classic - good for old-fashioned English cooking.

Charles Ross phototape

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Cox x Peasgood Nonsuch
  • Originates from: England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1890
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1010
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession number: 1979-156

Identification

  • Bultitude apple group: 4. Flushed / striped, smooth, dessert / dual-purpose

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Cooking result: Keeps shape
  • Flavour quality: Average
  • Flavour style: Sweeter
  • Harvest period: Mid season
  • Use / keeping: 1-2 months

Growing

  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • Attractive features: Attractive fruit
  • General disease resistance: Good

Climate

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

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

Disease resistance

  • Scab  - Very resistant

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Offspring of this variety:

Charles Ross identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Charles Ross identification photos from website visitors


Charles Ross apples
Charles Ross apples

Copyright: Carole Leith, Kent, UK


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 Charles Ross 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

Ireland

Switzerland



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2014 season

  • 23rd May  2014  - tree owned by Mark in LEYBURN, United Kingdom
  • May  2014  - tree owned by Larry in DRIFFIELD, United Kingdom
  • 13th April  2014  - tree owned by Kim in London, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 22nd May  2013  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 13th May  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 1st May  2012  - tree owned by Frances in OLD WINDSOR, United Kingdom
  • 17th April  2012  - tree owned by Derek in West Drayton, United Kingdom
  • 13th April  2012  - tree owned by Pat in SEVENOAKS, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 26th April  2011  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom
  • 22nd April  2011  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 16th April  2011  - tree owned by Kim in London, United Kingdom
  • 7th April  2011  - tree owned by Derek in West Drayton, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 5th May  2010  - tree owned by Richard in Lakenheath, United Kingdom
  • 3rd May  2010  - tree owned by Stuart in Newbury, United Kingdom
  • May  2010  - tree owned by Megan in OXFORD, United Kingdom
  • 25th April  2010  - tree owned by Kim in London, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • May  2009  - tree owned by Megan in OXFORD, United Kingdom
  •  May  2009  - tree owned by Nick in MACCLESFIELD, United Kingdom
  • April  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2014 season

  • 2nd week September  2014  - tree owned by Ben in Peterborough, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week August  2014  - tree owned by John in AYR, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week August  2014  - tree owned by Lindy in WICKFORD, United Kingdom

2013 season

    2012 season

    • 2nd week October  2012  - tree owned by Jean in Martock, United Kingdom
    • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
    • 4th week August  2012  - tree owned by Frances in OLD WINDSOR, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • 4th week September  2011  - tree owned by Pam in ST HELENS, United Kingdom
    • 1st week September  2011  - tree owned by Colin in , United Kingdom
    • 1st week September  2011  - tree owned by James in HASSOCKS, United Kingdom
    • 4th week August  2011  - tree owned by Jonathan in HULL, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 2nd week October  2010  - tree owned by Maggie in Peterborough, Great Britain, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by James in HASSOCKS, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by Megan in OXFORD, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week August  2010  - tree owned by Kim in London, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 3rd week October  2009  - tree owned by John in BYFIELD, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by James in HASSOCKS, United Kingdom
    • September  2009  - tree owned by Nick in MACCLESFIELD, United Kingdom
    • September  2009  - tree owned by Megan in OXFORD, United Kingdom
    • September  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week August  2009  - tree owned by Kim in London, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week August  2009  - tree owned by Kim in London, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week August  2009  - tree owned by Kim in London, United Kingdom

    Where to buy apple trees

    The following fruit tree nurseries offer Charles Ross apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy apples

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