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

Belle de Boskoop apple

Belle de Boskoop was introduced in the 1850s in the Netherlands, and is still popular on the Continent. It is a large, lumpy, dull red apple, often with extensive russeting. There is also a modern "sport" with a darker red colouring but otherwise quite similar.

Belle de Boskoop is essentially a dual-purpose apple, suitable for both dessert and culinary uses. It works equally well in a savoury salad, or can be used sliced in continental-style apple pies and flans. Unlike the English Bramley cooking apple, Belle de Boskoop keeps its shape when cooked.

Eaten fresh, Belle de Boskoop is quite a sharp apple. This and its large size makes it unsuitable as a snack apple, but it can be nice cut into slices to share after a meal. The white-green flesh is dense with a very firm texture.

In summary, a versatile and unusual apple variety.

Belle de Boskoop identification images

ARS GRIN
©Copyright ARS GRIN

  • Belle de Boskoop

USDA identification images for Belle de Boskoop

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.


  • Year: 1905

  • Year: 1902

Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

Visitor reviews

  • 23 Nov 2020  ME, United States
    I have one Belle de Boscoop here in Lubec, Maine, "easternmost town in the US" and love it. Tart when picked right off the tree, sweetens up in a couple of weeks, and is a star of my small orchard. Just sliced one up for a snack! Got it from FEDCO Trees about 8 years ago. We'll see how it stores. Highly recommend it.
  • 15 Oct 2020  NJ, United States
    Just purchased a box of this variety of apple from Scott Farm Heirloom Apple Orchard located in Dummerston, VT. It is absolutely grand!
  • 02 Oct 2020  COLORADO, United States
    By all description and heritage of the early century apple history of my small town- I think I may have one in my backyard here in Colorado. The water table is pretty high on this patch of mountain foothills - could it be true? I’m at 5200 elevation, and the summers are hot and sheltered in winter. In the 1920’s this region was nationwide renowned for their apples. And this variety keeps so well for early train transit. I’m curious if anyone could verify my identification of this tree I have?
  • 03 Apr 2020  NONE, Austria
    My grandmother and grandfather used it for making "Most" / the Austrian variant of cider. For this, the acidity of the Boskoop apple really is helpful. We also used and still use it as an an cooking apple. Very delicious applepie!
  • 01 Feb 2019  EQUEURDREVILLE, France
    Hello From France...I'm originally from Vancouver, and lived on Vancouver Island where I had a friend who grew Belle de Boskoop apples. Glad to have found them in Europe as well. We just planted an espalier tonight in our little garden. It'll be fun to harvest and make apple crumble. Happy growing everyone!
  • 28 Jan 2019  BC, Canada
    How d'ye like THEM apples? This is a true classic, a country apple best fresh off the tree in the mid-to-late autumn. Looks like an apple, smells exactly how the apple of your dreams smells, and the taste is like reliving your childhood tastebuds, why you liked apples in the first place. Support heritage growers!
  • 03 Feb 2017  WASHINGTON, United States
    Red Belle de Boskoop (Raintree Nursery) is easily the most productive tree in our small orchard. It reliably produces annual crops of 4 bushels per tree on dwarf rootstock. The fruit are huge and nicely russetted (it helps to thin the fruit). The flavor is delicious and tart with lots of juice -- a great addition to cider with other varieties that add a bit of sweetness. The fruit is almost too hard to be a good eating apple, but great for baking and cider. It produces a lot of foliage and leaves, so you need to keep up with pruning and control the top growth, unless you have a very long ladder.
  • 28 Oct 2016  MEURTHE ET MOSELLE, France
    My full sized B. de Boskoop tree bears the low-colored fruit, yellowish with a little red blush with sun exposure and moderate russeting; not like the red Boskoops seen on the store shelves. This apple is quite sharp and, as such, cooks to a fluff and is delicious cooked with boudin noire.
  • 10 Mar 2016  NW VIRGINIA, United States
    David Chambers of VA: seburn.patrick@gmail.com is my email if you want to chat about Boskoop!
  • 30 Sep 2015  VA, United States
    From David C of Northern Virginia: Comments: Patrick W of NW Virginia: Would love to get in touch to talk about growing this tree. Filip Fransen of Antwerp: My all-time favorite, too! Orange Pippin: Contrary to your vitamin detail, Wikipedia cites journal which states the Belle de Boskoop has four (4) times more Vitamin C than either Granny Smith or Golden Delicious -- see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_de_Boskoop#cite_note-1 All: "Red Sport" grows well in Lower Normandy, France. There, the apples are mostly large, excellently crisp and crunchy, puckeringly sour, and highly aromatic. (I was surprised to read of Piet's unfortunate experience in Belgium: condolences.) General question: Where in the U.S. can one obtain Belle de Boskoop trees to grow?
  • 07 Sep 2015  NW VA, United States
    Got my first crop, 50lbs, on M7 in about 4-5 years. Beautiful large blossoms. Fantastically flavored sweet/tart huge russet apples. Apparently THE apple for strudel, but made a spectacular apple pie. Highly recommended.
  • 13 Mar 2015  WASHINGTON, United States
    I have 43 trees on bud-9: vigorous crazy grower, definitely Triploid, awesome flavors, regular bearer. No scab, no bugs. Eating and sharing this mid-march. These have followers at the market and boxes are shipped to those in the know. W Washington/cool growing is the best! Like a fine wine grape it varies season to season. Most years it's amazingly complex, rarely flat, occasionally a love affair, an apple virtuoso. I make custom trees, and supply scion.
  • 10 Feb 2015  BROWNSVILLE, OREGON, United States
    This is one of my favorite apples. For me, it's a heavy bearer, I have to thin it pretty heavily in early summer. The apples aren't too big, but there's lots of them. It's the best cooking apple I've ever seen. After harvest I can a bunch of them as apple pie filling. I can take the canned apples out of the jar, put them in a pie and bake the pie and when eaten they still have a firm and solid texture to them. I've never seen another apple that didn't fall apart with that treatment. They're also good keepers. It's the middle of February and still eating them out of storage, just kept outside in my shop, no special care. The texture is still good as is the flavor. Highly recommended.
  • 01 Apr 2014  WA, United States
    I have had an Apple that the farmer called....Bos de koop.....he was from Sequim WA.....please tell me I am not losing my mind....Best pie apple ever.
  • 13 Jun 2013  Belgium
    I have several small apples trees in my garden. In comparison to the others, the belle de boskoop or schone van boskoop, (the Dutch name) was a disappointment for me: irregular production, susceptible to scab, and not to my taste. The most positive point is that they keep long.
  • 06 May 2013  WASHINGTON, United States
    Alan, Picking up "The Best Apples to Buy & Grow" for the first time in a couple of years, I noted this about BdB: "This apple is moderately resistant to scab, resistant to canker and very resistant to fire blight." That, written by Ted Swensen, past president of Home Orchard Society, in Oregon, USA. I'd forgotten about this sterling endorsement. I have sampled it; an excellent apple.
  • 30 Jan 2012  WV, United States
    I'd appreciate hearing about any disease issues, especially in comparison to more well-known varieties (i.e. more or less susceptible to scab than McIntosh; any disease comparisons relative to Golden Delicious). Thanks!
  • 20 Nov 2010  WASHINGTON, United States
    I think people in the States rely too heavily on loads of cinnamon (probably cassia, much sharper than true cinnamon, and not expensive, but that's how things are here) when cooking with apples. I use coriander. It seems to compliment any tartness and complexity in apple flavors.
  • 07 Nov 2010  WA, United States
    My Belle de Boskoop also came from Raintree Nursery, and it grows espaliered along the border of my small city lot. It bears very well - this year, despite our terrible spring weather, it bore at least 100 apples. I am wondering about texture. While previous posts commented on its ability to hold its shape when baked in a crisp, I have found the opposite to be true. Any comments? Suggestions on how to spice the applesauce?
  • 15 Oct 2010  WASHINGTON, United States
    I am reasonably sure BdB is triploid; John Bultitude comes to mind, for one source. I cannot confirm it by personal experience as yet, but I hope to graft it next spring and find out!
  • 12 Aug 2010  MO, United States
    Belle de Boskoop is one of the best, most delicious apples ever! There is no other with all the qualities it has: great taste, firm flesh, long keep... and just imagine this: in Paris (yes Paris, France, not TX, lol), these apples are sold in high-end delicatessen stores by the individual unit!! And they sell for about 5 bucks a piece! We French know what's good, trust me! I am right now hunting for a tree to plant in my yard. I hope I can find a place that has them available!
  • 19 May 2010  WASHINGTON, United States
    David Smith in Yorkshire: I have read repeatedly that Belle de Boskoop slices retain their shape when cooked. That may be another indicator of your cultivar.
  • 03 Jan 2010  CALIFORNIA, United States
    We have the Red Boskoop sport we ordered from Raintree Nursery. It has done well here in Southern California despite our mid-fall heat; sweet/tart with a good crunch and lots of juice. The appearance is lousy but the flavor is heavenly. I hope to bake a pie with it next year.
  • 18 Nov 2009  NAPA, CA, United States
    I fondly remember this apple variety from my childhood. We'd get a whole crate of Boskoop in October and store it in the cellar till Christmas. I loved the tartness of freshly picked apples and the sweetness of the slightly shriveled ones from the cellar. They would last throughout the winter. Every time I let a Gravenstein go too long and bite into mealiness, I long for a Boskoop. I particularly like the russet skin. My teeth are allergic to the glossy texture of most apples. Boskoop is heaven to me, and the only apply I can bite into whole.
  • 26 Oct 2009  BURIEN WASHINGTON, United States
    I was at the West Seattle market yesterday and hoped to buy a few Cox's orange pippins. They were gone ,so I bought the Bramleys,but I'd rather have the Boskoops! Do you know where I can buy them in the Seattle area? I bought my husband a Karmine de sanneville tree 8 years ago and we finally had enough apples to make 1 pie this year.....
  • 14 Oct 2009  LYNDEN, WASHINGTON, United States
    We own BelleWood Acres and grow Belle de Boskoops as one of our 16 varieties. The demand for them is growing yearly. They make the best pies and crisp. We call them our "Granny Smiths with attitude". they are tart with a great flavor.
  • 09 Jun 2009  WASHINGTON, United States
    I have been looking at this variety for a couple of years. If one of the apple trees planted in my yard does not work out, Belle de Boskoop is the variety I want to replace it. My stock has all come from Raintree Nursery, in SW Washington, arriving in excellent shape. They carry the Red Belle de Boskoop, at overstock price this month.
  • 27 Apr 2009  MAINE, United States
    This apple tree is available from Fedco in Clinton, Maine. Search Fedco Trees and you will find their website. They sell mostly heirloom varieties.
  • 03 Dec 2008  YORKSHIRE ENGLAND, United Kingdom
    We think we have a Belle de Boskoop tree which was in the garden when we arrived. We seem to have the 'red sport' but also about 80% of the apples are normal size and only about 20% large as described above. Certainly our apples cook better than they eat, as it were, and are best left on the tree as long as possible. Ours will also keep well over winter. One thing which may help to identify them is that they go brown very quickly when cut or eaten. Does this ring any bells?
  • 29 Oct 2008  BELLINGHAM, WA, United States
    Bellwood Acres just North of Bellingham has these apples available. I think they are great snacking apples and yes they do make the best applesauce. I also think they make the best apple butter.
  • 23 Oct 2008  CLOVERDALE BC, Canada
    see October 7 Please tell Ramona from White Rock, BC there are many bags in the cooler and she may have some for the asking 604-576-7426 & Gord from Langley - the applesauce is great!
  • 21 Oct 2008  LANGLEY, BC , Canada
    I have a 7 year old tree I purchased from Garden Works in Burnaby, BC and this year was loaded, unfortunately one branch broke had so many apples on it. Is a nice tasting apple, skin is a bit peculiar due to russeting, but generally a nice eating apple. Apples keep on tree a long time, even during frosts and winters well in cool place. Great in pies or crumble type deserts.
  • 20 Oct 2008  WHITE ROCK,BC, Canada
    I have used these apples for pies for years. Being of dutch decent, they have been used by our family for years but not always easy to find. Do you still have apples available?
  • 07 Oct 2008  CLOVERDALE BC, Canada
    very accurate description - now i know what these "different" trees are of which I have a dozen fully fruited trees. Unbelievable crop this year - now I need anyone to come buy and make use of them.
  • 05 Oct 2008  CAMBRIDGE,MA, United States
    actually in saratoga, ny at saratoga apple they have belle de boskoop
  • 04 Oct 2008  WASHINGTON, United States
    Raintree Nursery, here in Washington state, has the "red sport" mentioned above, as far as I can tell. I found their website a couple of years ago, ordered four apple trees (Belle de Boskoop was my fifth choice - ran out of room). Raintree has excellent info and reasonable prices. My trees are on semi-dwarf rootstock and doing just fine.
  • 26 Sep 2008  SHROPSHIRE UK, United Kingdom
    I have an ancient specimen of this variety in my garden. It was almost destroyed in a wild storm four years ago, but a fallen branch managed to cling on to the trunk, and is rooting independently where it fell. The apples have a crisp texture and sharp taste with mellow honey undertones. They are a bit too acid for eating, but as cookers they are hard to beat because they hold their shape well for pies and tarts whilst also suitable for making a lovely smooth homogenous sauce.
  • 14 Apr 2008  BURNABY, B.C., Canada
    This is a great apple, and I have the tree in my back yard, purchage some 35 years ago from Art Knapp Plantland owned by Bill Vanderzalm, cut branches are easy to graft on to other apple trees, as I have given away lots of branches and was told that the grafting was very succesful. the apples make the best applesauce ever, it's a winter apple, and the apples will keep in a cool place until spring time.
  • 17 Feb 2008  FARMINGDALE MAINE, United States
    To Rick Anderson, thanks for the Info, Richard from Orange Pippin provided this link. Do you know how to get in touch with Bob Hartman? I might be interested. Peter
  • 16 Feb 2008  ANDERSON ISLAND, WASHINGTON, United States
    To Pierre B. Wolf in Maine: I recently got one of these trees from Bob Hartman in Puyallup, WA . . . he has one or two left, and might also be able to tell you where he got his if he can't ship you one. Try b-jhartman@juno.com.
  • 09 Jan 2008  ANTWERP, Belgium
    Hello This apple if my favorite of all times. Especially in warm dishes but it is also very good eat fresh! The apple contains the most vitamine C, sugars and acids of all species I read somewhere. In Belgium we have a two Michelin star restaurant called after the Apple "Schone van Boskoop". Thank you for this great website Filip
  • 03 Dec 2007  FARMINGDALE MAINE, United States
    Please, anyone, help me find this Apple in the US.

Tree register

United States

United Kingdom

Belgium

France

Germany

  • Moneva in Buehne-Borgentreich, EUROPE

Ireland

Netherlands

Sweden

Canada

Australia

New Zealand

Switzerland

Poland

Spring blossom records for this variety

2022 season

  • 18th April  2022  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 17th April  2022  - tree owned by Mike in Liverpool, United Kingdom

2018 season

  • 5th May  2018  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • April  2018  - tree owned by Ben in Bangor, United Kingdom

2017 season

  • 4th October  2017  - tree owned by Maren in Bulls, New Zealand

2016 season

  • April  2016  - tree owned by Erika in Mytholmroyd, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 7th May  2014  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
  • 28th April  2014  - tree owned by Mike in Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 15th April  2014  - tree owned by Janice in Seattle, United States
  • 15th April  2014  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

2013 season

  • November  2013  - tree owned by Allan in Wanaka, New Zealand
  • 26th April  2013  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 20th April  2013  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

2012 season

  • 29th September  2012  - tree owned by Eric in Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 10th May  2012  - tree owned by John in Madeira Park, Canada
  • 1st May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 23rd April  2012  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

2011 season

  • May  2011  - tree owned by v in Lucknow, Canada

2010 season

  • 2nd May  2010  - tree owned by Moneva in Buehne-Borgentreich, Germany
  • 30th April  2010  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 26th April  2010  - tree owned by Johan in Gent, Belgium
  • 15th April  2010  - tree owned by Richard in Lubec, United States

2009 season

  • 24th April  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

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


Harvest records for this variety

2021 season

  • 2nd week September  2021  - tree owned by Susanne in Tacoma, United States

2020 season

  • 3rd week September  2020  - tree owned by Susanne in Tacoma, United States

2018 season

  • 3rd week September  2018  - tree owned by Ben in Bangor, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 2nd week October  2016  - tree owned by Erika in Mytholmroyd, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 2nd week October  2014  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

2013 season

  • 1st week November  2013  - tree owned by Mike in Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week October  2013  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States
  • 3rd week May  2013  - tree owned by Allan in Wanaka, New Zealand
  • 4th week March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in Nelson, New Zealand

2012 season

  • 1st week November  2012  - tree owned by John in Madeira Park, Canada
  • 4th week October  2012  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States
  • October  2012  - tree owned by Johan in Gent, Belgium

2011 season

  • 1st week September  2011  - tree owned by v in Lucknow, Canada

2010 season

  • 3rd week October  2010  - tree owned by Richard in Lubec, United States
  • September  2010  - tree owned by Moneva in Buehne-Borgentreich, Germany

2009 season

  • 2nd week October  2009  - tree owned by Johan in Gent, Belgium

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Sport of Rechette de Montfort
  • Introduced: 1850s
  • Developed by: K J W Ottolander

Using

  • Picking season: Late
  • Cropping: Good
  • Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more
  • Flavor style (apples): Sharper
  • Food uses: Eating fresh
  • Food uses: Culinary
  • Food uses: Dual purpose
  • Cooking result: Keeps shape
  • Discoloration of fruit: No discoloration (Good for drying)
  • Juice style: Sharper

Growing

  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Ploidy: Triploid
  • Growth habit: Upright-spreading / Vase
  • Bearing regularity: Regular

Climate

  • Cold-hardiness: Cold-hardy
  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (4) -30F / -34C
  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (5) -20F / -29C
  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (6) -10F / -23C
  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (7) 0F / -18C
  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (8) 10F / -12C
  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (9) 20F / -7C
  • Cold hardiness (RHS): H6 (to -20C)
  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (10) 30F / -1C
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Hot (>30C / 86F)

Identification

  • Country of origin: Netherlands
  • Period of origin: 1850 - 1899
  • Flower colour: Pink - light
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Fruit size: Large
  • Fruit colour: Green / Red
  • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
  • Fruit colour: Russet

Where to buy trees

The following tree nurseries offer Belle de Boskoop apple trees for sale:

  • Keepers Nursery
    United Kingdom  More >>

Where to buy fresh fruit

The following orchards grow Belle de Boskoop:

United States


Canada


Australia




References

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor

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