It is very easy to grow an apple tree from a seed or pip and definitely something to try at home. But will it turn out to be a good apple? There is no knowing! The new fruit will be different from the one containing the pip you planted and most seedling apples turn out to be not very special. Occasionally, however, a new-world class apple is born and we think you will agree that ‘Pilgrim 400’ is one of them.
Seedling apples are different from the fruit on their parent tree because they actually have two parents. Cross-pollination has to take place between trees when they are in flower. Some apples have to be pollinated by one other tree and some by two.
Pollination can only take place when trees are in flower. Some flower in the early part of the season (usually in April), some in the mid-part (early May) and some later in May. 'Pilgrim 400' is a mid-season apple.
Once a great apple is discovered, naturally we want more of them and propagation has to be done using grafting or budding techniques. This is skilled work and requires a lot of practice.
There are many recognised varieties of apple and they all have different uses and characteristics. Some grow well in warm or cool climates. Some are used mainly for cooking, while others are used mainly for eating or cider-making. Some keep a long time and some are best eaten straight away.
The National Fruit Collection is located at Brogdale Farm near Faversham, Kent. You can find out more on http://www.nationalfruitcollection.org.uk/
Have you an apple you want to identify? There is more on http://www.fruitid.com/.