Apple Variety Ashmead’s Kernel

Ashmead’s Kernel has a rich aromatic flavour, a true connoisseur’s delicacy. It crops well for us 3 or 4 years out of 5. First raised by a Dr Ashmead in his garden in Gloucester in around 1700. It was apparently only well known in West Gloucestershire until the 1800s, an interesting point to consider-how many really good apples fail to gain the widespread acceptance which their merits deserved?

It does suffer from cracking and bitter pit, you can’t do much about this, just discard affected apples. A trace element feed such as seaweed can help correct deficiencies and minimise bitter pit. On the plus side, Ashmead is resistant to apple scab. Varieties which have maintained popularity over 300 plus years tend to have a reasonable level of natural disease resistance, modern varieties have always had pesticide sprays available so gardener selection hasn;t operated so much. Older is often better for flavour and ‘growability’.

Really excellent flavour, great also in juice or cider. A strong contender for inclusion in a five tree orchard. A friend of mine, Martyn Ashmead, was delighted to discover there was an apple named after him, even more delighted at the flavour. I supplied him with a tree of it for his garden.

The apple at the end of the video shows the classic colour of this variety, they don’t always develop this reddish blush on the olive green russet skin, proper tree ripening helps. The book says pick in early October and consume December to February, but as ever watch the tree and taste apples regularly from storage to check the development of flavour and texture, and of course to remove apples which go bad. I’ll post on apple storage later.

Ashmead’s Kernel is said to come first for flavour in blind tasting more frequently than any other apple variety. The flavour is very complex, described as ‘sweet, slightly acid nd highly aromatic’ you just have to try one!

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14 thoughts on “Apple Variety Ashmead’s Kernel

  1. Erick Ondich says:

    Have you tried grafting this variety on different rootstocks? I'm wondering what effect this may have on the bitter pit. Since bitter pit is thought to be a nutritional deficiency and trees can only take in what the rootstock provides them, different rootstocks may be more or less compatible with this variety. Any thoughts on this?

  2. Prof.Kent says:

    Bitter pit is caused by a lack of calcium. Pruning the new growth tips in the summer is supposed to push the calcium to the fruit since new growth needs calcium also.Or you can use a calcium foliar spray.

  3. Vincent Esposito says:

    Stephen, do you think it would be ok to espalier this variety on an m26 root stock?

    Also, any chance you would do a video on storage of apples (temp, and other conditions, how to store (container, stacking/organization) etc.? Thank you. Vincent.

  4. Stephen Hayes says:

    M26 should be OK.

    Will look againat storage. We had been going to post a vid about last wonters fruit in store but left it too long. Cool well ventilated dark and mouse proof about covers it. And only try to store quality fruit.

  5. John LaFleur says:

    Just ordered 6 apple tree 1 is an ashmeads kernel, roxbury russet, golden russet, blue pearmain, karmijn de sonnaville &newton pippin. I can't wait until spring to start planting. Keep on with the videos.

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