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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.

USDA identification images for Green Balsam

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

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

    Visitor reviews

    • 12 Nov 2011  NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, United Kingdom
      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  NORTH YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      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.

    Tree register

    United Kingdom

    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 >>.

    Harvest records for this variety

    2013 season

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


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Originates from: Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
    • Introduced: Early 19th century


    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Fruit colour: Green


    • Food uses: Culinary


    • Flowering group: 2
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Attractive features: Attractive flowers
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Green Balsam:

    United Kingdom


    • Apples of England (1948)
      Author: Taylor

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