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

Northern Greening apple

Northern Greening is a very old English apple, already widely-grown by the early 19th century.  It was rated by the Victorian author Hogg as "an excellent culinary apple of first-rate quality" and it cooks to juicy puree.

Whilst one disagrees with Hogg at one's peril, it is perhaps safe to say that its descendants have a better flavour when cooked.  The true importance of Northern Greening lies in its historical significance, as it is the probable parent of Dumelow's Seedling which was in turn one of the most influential Victorian culinary apples.

Northern Greening is in some ways a more "primitive" apple than other culinary apples of the Victorian era.  It has a rather un-prepossesing appearance, and is smaller than the norm for a cooking apple.  However it has the key qualities necessary in a cooking apple: it stores very well (a crucial attribute before the advent of refrigeration), it has a good acidic flavour (the base of all English-style apple cooking), and the tree is very reliable, disease resistant, and productive.  These qualities, along with better size and visual appearance, are to be found in many of its descendants.

USDA identification images for Northern Greening

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.

    Offspring of this variety

    Visitor reviews

    • 30 Aug 2022 
      I believe this is the variety of a very old tree in my garden, my parents bought the house in the 1970s and the tree was mature at that time, the elderly lady said the variety was ‘improved northern green’. We have bumper crops every year!
    • 25 Sep 2013  NC, United States
      I have been driving 2 hours to the NC/VA area to purchase Northern Greenings. It is the only place I have found them. It is the very best apple I and my grown kids have found for dried apples. They keep their color without treating and are so wonderful tasting when dried. There is no better or more healthy snack.
    • 14 May 2013  CA, United States
      This(the greening) is one of my childhood favorites. Crunchy and tart for eating (the kind of apples I like) and does make superb sauce and pies. The tree we pick from has been in my family for 50+ years and is a great producer. When in cold storage the apples last for months before losing integrity then you just make sauce. Great apple!
    • 18 Sep 2009  WEST CHESTER, BUTLER, OH, United States
      The greening has long been a favorite in our family for making pies. Oh, sure. The Granny Smith's are all the rage these days, but the firm, tart greening makes a much better pie. A bit hard for just eating though.
    • 14 Sep 2008  IOWA SIDNEY, FREMONT CO., United States
      I am not 100% certain that this is a Northern Greening but my source who worked for USDA for many years thought it was. This tree is probably 10 years old and this is the first year that the fruit was outstanding. It makes wonderful apple sauce and pies.

    Tree register

    United States

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2017 season

    • June  2017  - tree owned by Dianne in St Germain, United States

    2013 season

    • April  2013  - tree owned by Melanie in Armour, United States

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

    Harvest records for this variety

    2013 season

    • August  2013  - tree owned by Melanie in Armour, United States


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Unknown
    • Originates from: England, United Kingdom
    • Introduced: 18th century
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1956-031


    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Food uses: Traditional cooker
    • Picking period: mid-October
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Pollinating others: Average
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Bearing regularity: Regular


    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Northern Greening:

    United States

    United Kingdom


    • Apples of England (1948)
      Author: Taylor

    Varieties you viewed