Ashmead's Kernel Apple Tree
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Ashmead's Kernel Apple Tree
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Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Spacing: 12-15'
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Show more ›

Ashmead's Kernel Apple

Malus domestica 'Ashmead's Kernel'

This plant is not available at this time through Bower & Branch. Bower & Branch provides this information for reference only. Please click here to be placed on a waiting list. See below for other selections.

It won't win any beauty contests, but Ashmead's Kernel Apple will thoroughly enchant you. It's so different! A rough, dull mustard-brown surface hides a delicious, creamy yellow, sweet-tart flesh. Sharp-tasting when freshly picked, Ashmead's Kernel mellows in storage, acquiring complex and hard-to-define undertones. Apple connoisseurs have found hints of pear, pear drops (a popular British candy), Champagne, Madeira, lemon, honey, nutmeg, nuts, and sherbet! What does it taste like to you? You'll just have to grow it and find out! You won't find this heirloom oddball at the grocery store, so having your own Tree is the way to go. 

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Spacing: 12-15'
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Show more ›

Recommended by Our Growers

The Story

If an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, then Ashmead's Kernel was bad for business for the originator of this Tree. He was a physician! Dr. Thomas Ashmead of Gloucester, England, grew it from seed about 300 years ago. It has been kept alive ever since by fans of its unique flavor. Ashmead's Kernel is a triploid Tree, which means that it needs another Apple Tree to pollinate it, but it cannot pollinate another Apple Tree in return. Many Crabapples will also work. A Crabapple is a good choice as pollinator if you decide that the harvest from one Apple Tree is plenty for your needs.

The Details

Ashmead's Kernel isn't normally a profuse bearer, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Beginning fruit growers can often get overwhelmed by super-abundant harvests. A modest crop may be exactly what you and your family want. 

How to Grow

In general, Apple Trees are easy to grow, but getting a big harvest of unblemished fruit can be a real challenge, as there are several pests and diseases that find Apples like Ashmead's Kernel as tasty as we do. There are many steps you can take, however, to protect your Tree in effective but responsible ways. Our Growers are happy to help you find the best plan for you; contact them anytime at Practicing good culture and hygiene will go a long way towards keeping your Tree strong and healthy. Plant your Ashmead's Kernel Apple Tree in full sun in a site with well-drained soil and good air circulation. Water regularly and mulch to keep the root zone cool and evenly moist. And always promptly remove and destroy any diseased branches, leaves, or fruit. Ashmead's Kernel is one of the few British-bred Apples that performs well in North America.

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 4
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 9
Exposure Full Sun
Avg Mature Height 12-15' Tall
Avg Mature Width 12-15' Wide
Spacing 12-15'
Growth Rate Moderate
Leaf Color Green
Fall Leaf Color Yellow/Brown
Flower Color White
Flower Time Spring - Early Season
Fruit Color Golden Brown
Fruit Time Fall - Late Season
Cary Award Winner No
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark No
Attracts Birds Yes
Attracts Butterflies No
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators Yes
Deer Resistant No
Drought Tolerant No
Dry, Poor Soils No
Edible Fruit Yes
Fragrant Yes
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak No
Native No
Salt Tolerance/Seashore No
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance No
Showy Flowers Yes
Specimen No
Urban Conditions Yes
Utility Line Trees Yes
Wet Moist Soils No
Winter Interest No
Woodland Garden No
Decor/Craft Use No

Questions & Answers

Q: How big will this Tree grow?

A: We grow the Ashmead's Kernel Apple on a semi-dwarfing rootstock (S-M7). This will give you an apple that will grow 12-15' in height and width before pruning to form. You can expect a substantial harvest in 3 to 5 years using this rootstock, or about 3 years after planted at your home.

Q: What other variety of Apple do I need to pollinate my Ashmead's Kernel Apple? 

A: The Ashmead's Kernel Apple is best pollinated by a variety of Apples: the Gala, Honeycrisp, Empire and Braeburn are just a few! 

One note to make is that the Liberty Apple is what we call a triploid - meaning it has three chromosomes as opposed to two (like most other Apples). This means that it will not pollinate any other Apple - it is 'sterile'. If you plant a Liberty, two other Apple Trees are required nearby, each of different varieties, which can cross-pollinate each other as well as the triploid Tree. This might sway you from growing triploid varieties, but they have many advantages including very good disease resistance! 

Size Guide

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Ashmead's Kernel Apple Tree