All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Green Balsam apple

According to Robert Hogg, writing at the end of the 19th century, Green Balsam is a variety known only in the northern parts of the county of North Yorkshire, where it is very popular.  It was commonly known as the Farmer's Wife's apple, a testament no doubt to its culinary uses.

Green Balsam is a typical primitive small green cooking apple, acidic but not particularly juicy.  Its usage died out when other more productive cooking apples became available from other areas of the country.

Last updated 28 May 2011.

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Current rating: 5.0 out of 5. Total votes cast: 1

Visitor comments

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12 Nov 2011 
The tasting notes seriously traduce this variety. Our tree , from Roger's Nursery, produces vast numbers of typically small green apples. Itr is now 12/11/2011, the fruit is ready for picking and is sweet and very juicy The taste isn't pronounced but is better than any bought apple. The fruit keeps until May/June, stored outside, under a quince, in one of those plastic blanket boxes.

16 Jun 2011 
I have a three year old Green Balsam apple on M106 rootstock bought from the local nursery RV Rogers in Pickering. I have never seen such a productive apple - there were 278 apples - yes - 278, on the 7 ft high tree last year. The fruit was clustered on branches and round the stem, which looked impressive.The apples are indeed slightly less juicy that one would expect for an English apple, but they can be picked late, they mature with keeping, and we ate the last few apples at the beginning of May this year, when they were still firm and not at all soft.They spent this last cold winter in strong plastic supermarket bags in the garden shed, covered lkoosely with a piece of sacking. I would class it as an eating apple rather than a cooker. Its habit is upright or urn shaped rather than spreading and is extremely vigorous. I first met this tree some years ago as a standard - and what a huge tree it was.

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A 19th century variety grown in a small part of the county of North Yorkshire, and known as "the farmer's wife's apple".


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Originates from: Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: Early 19th century
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1005


  • Fruit colour: Green


  • Uses: Cooking


  • Flowering group: 2
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Attractive features: Attractive blossom Nice blossom for such an unpreposessing apple.


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates

Also known as

  • Balsam

References and further reading about this variety

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor

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 Green Balsam trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United Kingdom

Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2014 season

  • 22nd May  2014  - tree owned by Mark in Leyburn, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • June  2013  - tree owned by Mark in Leyburn, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2014 season

    2013 season

    • October  2013  - tree owned by Mark in Leyburn, United Kingdom

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