The ‘Ellison’s Orange’ tree on the allotment has finally fruited. Here’s what we thought of the apples.

Last year, we planted our ‘Ellison’s Orange’ apple tree. This year, we tied the branches into their espalier formation. And, even more excitingly, we didn’t pick all the immature fruits off, as the tree is now old enough to produce a few apples.

'ellison's orange' apples

Growing tree fruit is one of those real tests of a gardener. You can’t get it immediately, and even when it starts forming, you have to pick the young fruits off for the first few years on an immature tree to give it a chance to grow strong and last long. So when you finally reach the year when it’s ok to start harvesting, you’re overjoyed. And you can’t wait to find out what it tastes like.

'ellison's orange' apples

These are lovely deep-red and green-skinned apples, with those lovely painterly streaks thrown in for good measure too. ‘Ellison’s Orange’ is a dessert apple that doesn’t keep long, and from this week onwards is good for picking. So we’ve only picked as many as we need, and will pick the rest next week.

'ellison's orange' apples

This apple has Cox’s Orange Pippin as a parent, and has a similar flavour. It has firm, crisp white flesh that is rather tangy. The books say the flavour is ‘aniseed’, and while I wouldn’t say this is the sweetest apple I’ve ever eaten, it has a great bite and a great tang. And as everyone knows, I do love a good tangy fruit.

'ellison's orange' apples

I was sent this tree by Crowders, and am pleased that I can finally review it properly. It has lovely blossom, and wonderfully pretty fruits, which have given me great pleasure this year on the plot. It’s lovely to munch on these apples as an afternoon snack, too. Nothing comes close to homegrown produce, of course, but over and above that, few things come close to your first tree fruit.

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