Ashmead’s Kernel Apple Tree Overview
The Ashmead’s Kernel apple tree has an origin story dating back to 1720 when William Ashmead planted seed in gardens at the Ashmeade House in Gloucester, United Kingdom. Although it was made available by Brompton Park Nursery in the late 1700s, Ashmead’s Kernel apple trees didn’t become popular until three centuries later. It is not a mainstream apple variety yet, but today it’s a favorite among many apple growers all around the world.
While Ashmead’s Kernel is diploid, researchers found this apple tree variety to also be triploid. This means it does not provide viable pollen to itself or other apple trees. It may still be a good idea to have other pollinating varieties to complement Ashmead’s Kernel, such as Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious.
Ashmead’s Kernel apples are very juicy early on, but once the apple ages it becomes more crisp and firm. It has a very balanced flavor between sweet and acidic. Most people find the taste reminds them of pear drops.
Growing Ashmead’s Kernel apple trees may take some effort and care. The experience is rewarding as it can yield sufficient crop of apples and has a benefit of having beautiful blossoms!
- Uses: eating fresh, making juice, hard cider, drying, making sauce. Great source of tartness and sugars for various cider blends.
- Taste: sweet, crisp, juicy, sharp, aromatic
- Size: small to medium sized
- Color: yellow and gold colored fruit, white/pale yellow flesh
- Hardiness Zones: 3-8
- Disease resistance:
- Scab – somewhat resistant
- Mildew – resistant
- Blight – somewhat resistant
- Rust – resistant
- Harvest period: 4, late season (mid-September to early-October)
- Flowering period: late season
- Flowering Group: 4
- Cross pollinates with: Honeycrisp, Kingston Black, Rubinette, and Golden Delicious to name a few!
- Cultivation: This apple tree is vigorous. Bears fruit every year, but needs to be thinned. Fruit on spurs. Especially good in somewhat damp soil.
- Storage: Can keep up to four months, though best after one month.