Although England is well known for its orchards, the more sheltered areas of Scotland have long produced a wide range of excellent varieties of fruit. For example, there are some 2000 varieties of apples in the National Collection at Brogdale, in Kent. Most of these are from the south of England but many good varieties grow well in Scotland. Furthermore, there are a fair number of Scottish varieties of orchard fruit including 40 known Scottish varieties of apples.
It is likely that many of the old varieties of orchard fruit have been lost or remain undiscovered in orchards, scrub or woodland. Distinctive local varieties of fruit have evolved, often with a fascinating history. Examples of apples include Maggie Sinclair and Scotch Dumpling – which probably originated in Clydesdale, White Melrose – grown around its namesake Scottish border town, and James Grieve – from Edinburgh. Two varieties of plum are recorded in Scotland together with seven varieties of pear.
Fruit varieties recently found in the Clyde Valley orchards
The IronsideFarrar study identified over 53 varieties of fruit within the surveyed orchards.
Scottish apple varieties
A list of known Scottish varieties of apples appears in the book ‘Apples of Scotland’ by John Butterworth.
We would like your help to build a picture of old and new varieties of fruit grown in the Clyde Valley orchards. Please let us know if you have identified particularly interesting fruit such as local or Scottish varieties. Good photographs of your fruit would also be very welcome.
Although we cannot provide a service for fruit identification, we could put you in touch with organisations that can help with this. We are also looking out for people interested in grafting interesting old and new trees in the Clyde Valley and helping to re-establish a stock of our local fruit trees.
Many tree nurseries offer a bud grafting service subject to availability of suitable grafting material. This includes the possibility of grafting from a special tree in your garden as well as propagating unusual varieties from collections such as those at the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale or at the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley. The cost of the grafting service is around £25.00 per tree. You can also learn how to do this yourself by joining our co-operative.