Scrumptious Apple Trees (and Scrumptious Apples)

Scrumptious apple trees are another apple breeding success. They are the “children” of Hugh Ermen – the best producer of new apple varieties in the UK.  The man is a genius (and proof that amateurs can win) and has a list of apples to his name of which perhaps the most well known are Limelight, Red Devil and Winter Gem. Scrumptious is a lovely apple, nearly full red, with crisp firm flesh when picked.  It is relatively early, ripening in September. Unusually for an early apple, Scrumptious holds well on the tree for at least four weeks and will keep for a further couple of weeks if you store it in a cool place.   For a relatively early apple, these are brilliant qualities (none of those Discoveries all ripening on the same day…). It is also sensational eating straight off the tree. Just another apple for the fruit trees website.

Scrumptious apple trees are self fertile (but remember in the apple world self fertile means they carry fruit without needing another variety of apple as a pollinator but crops are always better if cross pollination occurs). Unlike Discovery which is one of Scrumptious’ parents, it fruits over an extended period. For those of us who suffer from the cold, its blossom handles spring frosts pretty well making it a good choice for frost pockets and colder parts of the UK.

For the more technical, Scrumptious apple trees belong in group C for pollination. They can therefore be pollinated by any (non-triploid) apple in pollination groups B, C or D. Its parentage is Golden Delicious and Discovery and it is therefore preferable (but not essential to select a pollinator that does not also have either of those varieties as a parent). It is a spur fruiting apple tree, which means pruning is straightforward and which also means that it can be grown as a step-over, a cordon or as an espalier as well as the more usual bush and half standard shapes. It performs well on semi-vigorous MM106 and semi-dwarfing M9 rootstocks which means it can fit into any garden or orchard capable of housing a fruit tree. Bare-root apple trees should be planted between November and the end of April while container grown trees – which tend to be more expensive- can be bought at any time of year.

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