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The Dirleton Apple Tree

Dirleton Red apple

photo courtesy Bernwode Plants

With Autumn and the apple harvest in mind, did you know that Dirleton has its very own named variety of an old apple tree - the Dirleton Red? This is due to the detective skills of a Dirleton resident who enjoys searching out old varieties of fruit trees and saw an intriguing specimen in a neighbour’s garden. It was a beautiful ornamental tree bearing small deep red fruit. Sending budding twigs away for analysis did not identify the tree as an existing name variety and so it could be named after the village. Further contacts with Bernwode Plants in Buckinghamshire, who specialise in old and unusual varieties of fruit trees, resulted in them propagating the tree for sale. Rather than the old method of grafting scion wood onto root stock, this is now achieved by growing individual buds in a culture which results in new trees within 2 to 3 years.

Their catalogue description of the Dirleton Red is as follows:

The tree is in Dirleton, a village in East Lothian, Scotland, where the Firth of Forth opens into the north sea. Open to the north east winds, the tree is clearly very hardy. It is one of those curious trees that has copper tinted young foliage, dark coloured bark, especially on young stems, and red staining inside the wood. The apples are deep red. The blossom is quite stunning. It flowers readily from almost every one year old bud, as well as mature spurs, with the richest deep carmine pink. The apples are translucent deep red over deep pink, usually flattened round, but occasionally conical. The flesh is crisp and juicy, with a little sweetness but quite tart - it is also stained, from the skin to the core, with deep pink.

As a bonus, the juice is apparently wonderful mixed with vodka!

If you are interested in ordering a Dirleton Red apple tree from Bernwode Plants, they advise that you ring or email them to check availability at that particular time, as stock levels vary.
phone 01833 237 415
Go to their website and find the Dirleton Red