Orchards play an important part in our national culture and heritage. Apples, in particular, are one of Britain’s oldest crops which for centuries have sustained us in chutneys, jellies, vinegars, sauces and pies not to mention cider and brandy. Keeping the spirits of the orchard happy whilst banishing evil is a source of much folklore eg wassailing.
Guiseley used to have a number of traditional orchards which would have grown native varieties for different uses. It was with this in mind that the Crooklands Orchard was planted as a community orchard in February 2015, and added too in 2018.
Joanna Brooks carefully picked the traditional varieties of apples, pears and plums, Leeds Parks sourced the trees, the Friends and Open Country planted them. Martyn Hornsby Smith and Jennifer Inskip Kirkby are now the Orchard Keepers, with help from The Orchard Project in building the skills to look after it. The Friends have an Apple Day each autumn to celebrate the apple harvest and customs.
2021 update – Rhubarb has now also been planted in the Orchard.
If you would like to help look after the Orchard email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We have done an inventory of the trees in 2018, and renewed the labels. Our stock looks like this with the number in brackets being the year it was planted. (NB, there are fruit trees around the Park details at the end.)
- Bright green fruit with a hint of yellow. Pink blossom
- Dual purpose – cooker & desert. Not an “eat-off” tree.
- Becomes lemony and sweetens in store
- Makes excellent cider!
- Pick November. Keeps well over winter.
- Self-fertile, Group 2
- Origin – Yorkshire, 1750. Very popular in North Yorkshire.
- Also known as “the farmer’s wife apple”
Bramley Seedling (2015)
- Best known cooker.
- Solid green colour if picked early. Pale green-yellow skin with touch of red or orange where sun catches if picked ripe.
- Cooks down to stiff but light puree. Good for juicing & cider.
- Use November – March. Stores well. Rich, sharp, acidic flavour
- Pollination Group 3. A “triploid” – needs two other cultivars for good pollination. Partially tip-bearing
- Origin – Nottinghamshire, 1809
Charlestown Pippin (2018)
- Green skin
- Desert variety.
- Light flavour sweet and juicy
- Pick September. Use September/October
- Pollination Group B (2).
- Origin – Yorkshire, 1888. Rare
- Photo – Clifford Cain not FOPP Orchard
- Pink/green skin with flesh touched with pink.
- Dessert apple that can be used for cooking. Excellent for juicing.
- Fresh tangy flavour with, at times, a hint of strawberry (see “Red Devil”)
- Early ripening variety – August in this area.
- Not generally considered to keep well & eaten straight from tree is best.
- Pollination Group 3. Self-sterile. James Grieve, Lord Derby suitable pollinators. Spur bearer.
- Origin – Essex 1949 – a seedling of Worcester Pearmain, with pollinator thought to be Beauty of Bath.
Egremont Russet (2015)
- Slightly rough skin, ochre coloured when ripe.
- Dessert apple
- Moist, rather than juicy, flesh. Flavour traditionally described as “nutty”.
- Recommended for “savoury” salads & with cheese.
- Use October – December. Good for storage.
- Pollination Group 2. Only partially self-fertile. Spur bearer.
- Origin – Sussex (Lord Egremont’s estate), early 1800s. On record officially, 1872, by J Scott of Somerset.
Greenups Pippin (2018)
- Green apple, turning yellow in the sun, often with a warm blush.
- “Triple purpose” – dessert, cooking & cider.
- Good for baking and puree
- Ripe in October, with tender, sweet, juicy flesh.
- Before fully ripe, while still sharp, used as cider “bittersharp”.
- Pollination Group 5.
- Origin –Appears in the 1798 catalogue of Clark & Atkinson, nurserymen of Keswick & Keighley. South Lakeland Orchard Group have a reference going back to 1769.
- Named after a Keswick shoemaker in whose garden it was found.
James Grieve (2015)
- Yellow/green speckled & striped orange/red fruit.
- Good cooker when picked early (late August?) with strong acidity. Keeps its shape on cooking – tarte au pomme.
- Dessert apple from September & good for juicing.
- Bruises easily so not found in Supermarkets.
- Use September, October &, possibly, later.
- Pollinator Group 3, self-fertile, good pollinator of other apple varieties. Blossom is frost-resistant.
- Origin – Edinburgh, 1893. Bred by James Grieve. A cross between either Pott’s Seedling or Cox’s Orange Pippin & an unknown pollinator.
Lord Derby (2015)
- Green skin that turns yellow on ripening
- Blossom is a “treat” – deep pink before flowers open, followed by pale pink petals with deep pink backs to them.
- Cooking apple
- Even when ripe fruit is too acidic for eating. Excellent for cooking, reducing to a puree.
- Ready for picking mid-October. Use up to Christmas.
- Pollination Group 4 (late flowering). Self-sterile. Needs a pollinator (such as Discovery or James Grieve).
- Origin – Stockport. First recorded 1862. Association with Lord Derby unknown!
Red Devil (2015)
- Deep red skin, crisp, pinky-red flesh, very juicy (pink)
- Red/pink blossom.
- Dessert apple
- Hint of strawberry.
- Pick from late September. Claimed that will keep in cool conditions until January.
- Pollination Group 3, self-fertile. Spur bearer.
- Origin – Kent, 1975. A Discovery cross. Named after the “Red Devils” parachute display team.
Ribston Pippin (2015/2018)
- Thought to be one parent of Cox’s Orange Pippin.
- Red/orange flush to skin.
- Generally a round apple.
- Mainly desert but can be cooked
- Aromatic flavour, eat fresh
- Said to have six times more vitamin C than a Golden Delicious
- Harvest late September.
- Pollination Group 3
- Origin – Ribston Hall, Little Ribston, Knaresborough, Yorkshire, 1708. Grown from one of three seed sent from Normandy, France.
- Valued by Victorians and widely grown
Yorkshire Greening (2018)
- Large green with red blush apple
- Desert, but also for cooking & cider making
- Traditionally used for a goose sauce
- Heavy cropper. pick mid-season – October.
- Stores well (up to 10 months claimed!)
- Non self-fertile – Group 3
- Origin – Yorkshire – c1762
- Desert, but claimed to be “exceptional when cooked”
- As with all pears, harvest slightly under-ripe. Can be eaten until January, particularly if kept in a fridge.
- Flowers April/May, fruits Oct/Nov. Pollination Group 3.
- White flowers, dark glossy green foliage, greenish brown skin, becoming pale yellow when ripe.
- Partly self-fertile but better if grown with other varieties.
- Developed from the European Pear (Pyrus communis) in Britain by Thomas Francis Rivers. It gained its name through winning first prize at the National British Pear Conference, held in London in 1885.
- A “new” variety, raised at Horticultural Research, East Malling. Released to gardeners & commercial growers in 1994 but breeding began in 1968.
- A cross between Conference (male) & Doyenne du Comice (female).
- Flowering group 4, Pollinated by Conference, though now found to be self-fertile.
- Heavy cropping. Pick late October. Stores well until January.
- Particularly interesting as it produces 2 flower crops. Will set 2 separate crops which mature at a different time – extending the season, AND, if there is a late frost, should still produce a crop.
- A long picking period – 1st week in Sept to 2nd week in Oct. Stores to Feb (and beyond, if kept in a fridge).
- Good cooker (particularly early picked fruit) as well as desert.
- Emerald green, clean-looking skin, yellowing slightly when ripe.
- Flowering group 2. Self-fertile.
- Described as a “typical modern French pear”.
- Raised in Sweden, a “new” variety, very similar but superior to Victoria in flavour & appearance, but much larger. Very hardy.
- Slightly sweeter than average, excellent when cooked, making puree & drinks.
- Partially self-fertile, Flowering Group 3
- White/pink blossom, green foliage. Harvest mid-August.
- Suggestion that crops should be thinned mid-spring, otherwise the weight of the crop could cause branches to break (not unusual with plums).
- Have seen note that fruiting period is quite short so that crop will need picking over just a week or two.
Laxton’s Cropper (2015)
- Blue-black skin, a medium to large fruit.
- Firm, juicy flesh, best used for culinary purposes – “makes a fantastic crumble”
- Start cropping in Sept. Hangs on tree well into October without deteriorating. Keeps well in storage.
- Flowering Group 3. Self-fertile.
- Origin – Bedford 1906, introduced to market 1931.
- Cross between Victoria & Aylesbury Prune Damson
Other trees in the Park.
Apple – Cider Lady’s Finger – on the slope of Crooked Lands
- This is primarily a cider apple ideal for a blend, but can also be used as a dessert apple.
- Mild sharp taste
- It is longer than it is broad – hence the name
- Self-sterile needs a pollinator
- Fruits early October
- Very old variety, possibly originating in Herefordshire or Somerset where it is usually found
Apple – Golden Delicious – mid slope of Great Brow
- Yellow in colour and one of the most important varieties of the 20th century
- Desert apple that can be used for juicing, cooking or drying but low Vitamin c content.
- Home grown have a much better flavour than commercial varieties – exceptionally sweet and rich, almost like eating raw sugar cane
- Partially self fertile and helps pollinate others – attractive blossom
- Needs a warm and sheltered microclimate.
- Harvest late in the season around October
- Originated in West Virginia, USA in the late 19th century, parent is perhaps Grimes Golden
Apples – Seedlings, on Great Brow
The other trees around Great Brow are unnamed seedlings. Seedlings, arise by chance Some are bitter, but one or two have a good taste. Seedling apples are an excellent food source for wildlife. Their fragrant blossoms are an attraction to birds, bees and butterflies from April through May.