realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Suntan, candidate for the best eating apple ever

Suntan, photo courtesy of whatamieating.com/flickr.com

Suntan, photo courtesy of whatamieating.com/flickr.com

We have been growing fruit and trees in this country since 1960, and I have been able to taste a huge range of varieties over the years. If you asked me which are the best eating apples ever raised and produced in this country, I would say Ashmead Kernel and Suntan. Both varieties have supreme eating qualities and good keeping qualities. But why, you may say, are these varieties so neglected, and never recommended by gardening magazines and the like?

The problem with Ashmead Kernel and Suntan is pollination. Without correct pollinators, these varieties will not be able to produce regular crops. Chivers Delight and Grenadier are both self-fertile, and they are good companions for Suntan.

We can supply these three trees as a package, or as part of an Orchard Pack, so that you can raise these wonderful Suntan apples successfully: Chivers Delight, Grenadier and Suntan, planted together, are a great combination.

Strangely, Suntan runs the risk of disappearing from many nurseries. Today there are only two tree propagators who list Suntan, and this is due to the variety gradually disappearing from public view. But it is truly a superb apple, and I would place it in number one position, for its great flavour, its crispness, and the fact that after picking in late October, it keeps easily until after Christmas.

Suntan does best on M26 rootstock. It should never be planted on its own: the best companion varieties are Royal Gala, Egremont Russet, Chiver’s Delight, Annie Elisabeth, and Claygate Pearmain.

Of course, new varieties are appearing all the time. Scrumptious is a very new variety, very promising, with a great future. But it’ll take something else to knock Suntan off that number one pedestal!

Suntan, photo courtesy of Home Orchard Society Incorporated

Suntan, photo courtesy of Home Orchard Society Incorporated

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