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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.

Grenadier apple identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Grenadier
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USDA identification images for Grenadier

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

    • 15 Feb 2024  LONDON, United Kingdom
      We inherited what I believe was a Grenadier cooking apple tree when we moved in here in Dulwich London I think 60 years old then. It has just blown down after another 50 years . It almost always provided many more great cooking apples than we could eat ( baked and in pies and crumble) and in time to combine with the blackberries also at the end of the garden - . Only problem was that the apples did not keep more than a few weeks, max about a month. I greatly regret its passing - vigorous to the end, despite turning out to be completely hollowed out
    • 08 Sep 2022 
      Grenadier is superior to Bramley for cooking and delicious for eating if you like a slightly tart apple. many grow to over 1lb in weight. Why don't more growers sell these trees. We have a Bramley and Grenadier I much prefer the Grenadier for all my apple cooking.
    • 06 Sep 2020  WORCESTERSHIRE, United Kingdom
      I didn't have quite enough Grenadiers when cooking the last of this years crop so added an early Bramley. This was the first time i had compared the two directly. The heady scent of the Grenadier really shone through - much the better apple. I'll show this tree more respect in future! And free up freezer space at the beginning of August - they really have to be used straight from the tree.
    • 24 Jun 2018  United Kingdom
      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  KENT, United Kingdom
      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  DEVON, United Kingdom
      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  Co. Meath, Ireland
      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  WILTSHIRE, United Kingdom
      I have a 40 ft Grenadier tree and have just made 5 gallons of cider, all from the one tree
    • 31 Jul 2009  LANCS, United Kingdom
      Restricted non vigorous growth when well cropped. Splendid apple for small gardens. I find it very reliable and keen to fruit.
    • 13 Dec 2008  SOUTH HAMPSHIRE, United Kingdom
      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  SHROPSHIRE, United Kingdom
      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  WARWICKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      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  LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom
      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  BRISTOL, United Kingdom
      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  ABERDEENSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Grows reasonably well here in Eastern Scotland. Almost an eater when really ripe. , but makes great pies also.

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom



    New Zealand

    • Giles in HAMILTON, WAIKATO

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2022 season

    • 7th May  2022  - tree owned by James in Glynn, Ireland

    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 Christine in Goole, United Kingdom
    • 7th May  2010  - tree owned by Stuart in Newbury, 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 >>.

    Harvest records for this variety

    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

    2012 season

    • 2nd week September  2012  - tree owned by Janet in St Austell, United Kingdom
    • 4th week August  2012  - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom
    • 4th week August  2012  - tree owned by Nickkk in Oldham, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • 3rd week August  2011  - tree owned by Ute in Kilfenora, Ireland

    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


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Originates from: Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
    • Introduced: 1800
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1974-347


    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Period of origin: 1800 - 1849
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Popularity: Best sellers
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Picking season: Early
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1 week
    • Flavour quality: Good
    • Flavour style (apples): Sharper
    • Cooking result: Puree
    • Discoloration of fruit: Oxidising
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Food uses: Traditional cooker
    • Picking period: mid-August
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Beginner
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Pollinating others: Good
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Average vigour
    • Bearing regularity: Regular
    • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
    • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile


    • Frost resistance of blossom: Some resistance
    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Climate suitability: Mild damp climates
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
    • Cold hardiness (RHS): H6 (to -20C)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Good

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Grenadier apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Grenadier:

    United Kingdom


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

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