This page is about fruit trees in the garden but also in the main park. 


Lots of people have suggested planting fruit trees. We love them for their blossom, shade, support for wildlife, and even for their fruit.

We are nervous about planting lots of trees in the main bowling green because of the odd soil.

  • Suggestions for fruit trees (excuse the spelling): almond, apples (Blenheim orange, Captain Kidd, Crown Gold, Discovery, Ellison's orange, Elstar, Pixie, Pitmarston's Pineapple, Rosemary russet, other russets, Tydeman's early worcester, William Crump, Worcester pearmain), apricot, blackthorn (for sloes), cherry, fig, 'nuts', pear (conference), plums (damsons, greengages, Victoria), quince. An ornamental elder (Black Beauty/Gerda - review by James Wong). Some of these will grow well trained and others (quince, figs, apricots maybe) resist training and grow better as standards.

Trees planted so far:

  • In early 2016, we planted a small crabapple tree donated by a community garden in Nottingham, probably grown from a pip. This seems to be doing well and we have recently made a support for it so we can train it into a fan.

  • In December 2017 we adopted three kinds of dessert apple from the City Council's collection. All three are types of Laxton's Superb (all on MM106 rootstock) because we thought it would be good to show how three different kinds of fruit can come from the same parent plant. They will be grown as cordons:

    • Laxton's Superb, Maxton mutation (1961-099); pick in early October.

    • Laxton's Superb, Red Laxton's mutation (1973-067); pick in early October.

    • Laxton's Superb, Russet Superb mutation (1969-028); pick in early October.

  • In January 2018, we purchased three dessert apple trees on MM106 rootstock from Susana at Trumpington Community Orchard, to grow as cordons next to the Laxtons:

  • D'Arcy Spice (1942-006); pick in late October.

  • Elstar (1974-005); pick in early October.

  • Winter banana (1921-094); pick in early October.

  • We also bought from Susanna a Dutch Mignonne apple on M25 rootstock (more vigorous) for the main bowling green area, which is dual purpose (dessert and culinary); to pick in early October. If this does well, we might dig some more holes and add other vigorous trees.

  • The seven apple trees should all pollinate each other.

  • 2018: we have planted another apple tree in the ‘wild orchard’ of the bowling green area. It is on vigorous rootstock so it should, eventually, become a climbable tree. Grafted by Susanna from Trumpington Orchard from an elderly cooking apple tree in a garden in Northern Queen Edith’s. This might be over 100 years old and growing in the original orchards off Hills Road. It has lovely blossom, and large yellow-green fruits in July/early August - they cook well but don’t store beyond a few weeks.

Past efforts

  • In January 2017, we re-homed a small container-grown fig tree in the main bowling green area. This seemed to be doing well but the growing tips were badly frosted and it never recovered - this tells us that this kind of tree probably won't do well in this relatively un-protected area.

  • In early 2017, we aimed to plant a James Grieve (Scottish, dual, flowers in early May, pick in early September, doesn't store well; webpage) apple tree (M106 rootstock) in the bowling green area, as part of the Cambridge Community Collection (public art project). This was our favourite, from 17 types (starting with J) that we were offered. In 2017, the tree couldn't be found again so we gave up on the idea.

In the main park

We have eight new apple trees in the main park (diagram of where they are) from the Cambridge Community Collection (website), which is a public art commission by Neville Gabie for Cambridge City Council:

  • By the car park: Jonathan (US origin, group 3, dual use, flowers in mid-May, pick in early October; webpage). In June 2017, this tree was vandalised and we don't know if it will be replaced.

  • Either side of the peripheral path at the Fendon Way end:

    • Kenneth (Welsh, dessert, flowers in mid-May, pick in mid October; webpage);

    • Kilkenny pearmain (Irish, dessert, flowers in mid-May, pick in September; webpage);

    • Kemp (Irish, dual, early, flowers in mid-May, pick in late August; webpage);

    • Malling Kent (UK, cooking, flowers in mid-May, pick in mid October; webpage);

    • Keed's cottage (UK, group 2, cooking, flowers early May, pick in late September; webpage);

    • Keswick Codlin (UK origin, Group 2, cooking, flowers in early May, pick in mid August; webpage);

    • Kerry Pippin (Irish, group 2, dessert, flowers in early May, fruits in late August; webpage).

Useful links

Last updated 6 January 2019