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

Grenadier apple

England is the only country where a major distinction is made between cooking and dessert apples, but these days only one variety remains to maintain the tradition of English cooking apples - the famous Bramley apple. However before the supermarket era the choice was wider, with a whole range of culinary or cooking apple varieties grown, each with their own characteristics and season. Chief amongst the early cooking apples is Grenadier, which ripens by mid-August in the UK.

Not much is known of the origins of Grenadier, but it was discovered during the mid-19th century in England and was quite widely grown by the end of the century, although it is no longer grown commercially.

Two reasons probably account for Grenadier's fall from favour. Firstly, like all early apple varieties it does not store particularly well, a serious drawback for modern distribution methods. Secondly, it is not the most attractive of apples - it is a lumpen green, often with a pronounced ribbed effect. However, this ugliness is transformed in the pot, where it easily cooks down to cream-coloured puree with a superb apple flavour. Grenadier is also a good base for apple jam.

Grenadier is also quite an easy apple tree to grow in the garden, being reliable, resistant to the common apple diseases, and not likely to grow as vigorously as a Bramley.  Growing your own is also the easiest way to get over its poor keeping qualities, as you can pick it over a number of weeks.

So if you want to make a light English-style apple pie for a summer picnic then Grenadier is exactly what you need.

Last updated 02 Jan 2011.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.3 out of 5. Total votes cast: 6

Visitor comments

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

24 Jun 2018 
Pretty sure we have one. We peel and core and section after picking and then freeze so can use throughout the year in crumble, Apple plat and devised red cabbage. As others have said early picker and fabulous taste.

29 Sep 2016 
Moved into my new house in February and have just found out (from the huge ripening apples and help from Brogdales identification service) that I have a Grenadier . What a lovely cooking apple. Puree, crumble and pie so far. Good flavour cooked and raw . Very different to a Bramley which I also love.

11 May 2014 
Almost an eater when ripe.Possibly easiest tree to grow i have (out of 20)Always crops well,growth is manageable,always disease free,brilliant starter apple.Apple pie & sauce from early August in UK.Commend without hesitation

10 Apr 2011 
There is a Grenadier in our garden since the 1880s (four generations of apple tarts, stewed apples.... and 'free' apples for neighbouring children); 9 ft high - produces more than we can use, is 'pruned' by clippers or loppers every second year (more or less)..any tips for the next 130 years ?

14 Oct 2009 
I have a 40 ft Grenadier tree and have just made 5 gallons of cider, all from the one tree

31 Jul 2009 
Restricted non vigorous growth when well cropped. Splendid apple for small gardens. I find it very reliable and keen to fruit.

13 Dec 2008 
We have had a Grenadier apple tree for over 20 years now and it has always been a good cropper. The glory is we get (sometimes) apples at the end of July and we can pick them until early September. Its only a small tree but we get plenty of apples for our needs and some left over for friends and neighbours.This means we then benefit by neighbours receprocating in September and October with Bramleys etc. So we have 'fresh' apples deep into November and December.

19 Oct 2008 
We have an old Grenadier at the end of our garden that produces fruit every year, with every other year being a real bumper crop that we struggle to keep up with! As it doesn't keep too long we get peeling, freeze it up, and enjoy fantastic crumbles and purees all through the winter.

06 Oct 2008 
Have a tree (70 years old) which we have been trying to identify - this sounds like it. In our opinion beats the Bramley hands down! Does anyone have a picture so we could compare and does anyone know of a nursery still selling this variety?

14 Sep 2008 
We have two of these in our garden in South Liverpool and they will generally fruit every year. Like Vivien in Bristol 2008 has been a great crop. Superb apple for all sorts of uses!

17 Aug 2008 
We love our Grenadier apples - our small tree does not produce fruit every year but when it does, the flavour and cooking properties are second to none. This year (2008) has seen a wonderful crop.

07 Oct 2007 
Grows reasonably well here in Eastern Scotland. Almost an eater when really ripe. , but makes great pies also.

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If you want an early-season English cooking apple, this is the one - good flavour for all sorts of culinary uses, very easy to grow, and crops well.

Grenadier phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Originates from: Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1800
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1027
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1974-347


  • Fruit colour: Green
  • Bultitude apple group: 1. Green, smooth, no russet, acidic, culinary


  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Juice
  • Cooking result: Puree
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Sharper
  • Harvest period: Early-Mid season
  • Use / keeping: 1 week


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Pollinating others: Good
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • General disease resistance: Good


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates Tolerates wet climates
  • Blossom frost-resistance: Some resistance

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

References and further reading about this variety

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor
  • Fruit Expert
    Author: Hessayon

Grenadier identification photos from official fruit collections



UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Grenadier identification photos from website visitors


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 Grenadier 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



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2018 season

  • 5th May  2018  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 9th May  2016  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • April  2014  - tree owned by Philip in Stourbridge, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 16th May  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom
  • 12th May  2013  - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • October  2010  - tree owned by Nickkk in Oldham, United Kingdom
  • 9th May  2010  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 7th May  2010  - tree owned by Stuart in Newbury, United Kingdom
  • 7th May  2010  - tree owned by Christine in Goole, United Kingdom
  • 6th May  2010  - tree owned by Elizabeth in Evesham, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 18th April  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • April  2009  - tree owned by Christine in Goole, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2018 season

    2016 season

      2014 season

      • 2nd week September  2014  - tree owned by Philip in Stourbridge, United Kingdom
      • September  2014  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

      2013 season

      • 3rd week September  2013  - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom

      2010 season

      • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by Chris in Looe, United Kingdom
      • 2nd week August  2010  - tree owned by Ute in Kilfenora, Ireland

      2009 season

      • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by Chris in Looe, United Kingdom
      • September  2009  - tree owned by Christine in Goole, United Kingdom
      • 2nd week August  2009  - tree owned by Ute in Kilfenora, Ireland
      • August  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

      Where to buy trees

      The following fruit tree nurseries offer Grenadier apple trees for sale:

      Where to buy fresh fruit

      United Kingdommap >

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