This is a project co-founded by William Arnold and James Fergusson, the primary aim of which is to record and where characteristics make desirable (and sometimes where they don’t) preserve wilding apples, i.e., Malus domestica growing on their own roots as the result of a discarded core. Having grown and often thrived in seemingly unfavourable circumstances these trees could present valuable opportunities to propagate hardy novel cultivars, something of ever increasing relevance in an erratic climate.

It has to date focussed primarily on central and west Cornwall, where between the two of us and with a little help from others we have recorded over 330 trees and therefore over 330 novel varieties of apple. Many of these have been subject to public taste trials at Kestle Barton.

The paper reproduced here was published to coincide with the April 2023 blossom time workshop and field trip in collaboration with Caitlin DeSilvey of the Environment & Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter. For best readability view on desktop in full-screen mode. 

48 Wild Apples from West Cornwall photographed at comparative scale
Displayed at Kestle Barton as part of the trial Some Interesting Apples: Wild & Seedling Pomological Exhibition. 

Key to apples. Unless submitted otherwise the name of each apple is the what3words cooridnates of the location of the tree. 

Row 1: acoustics.driven.quest, aquatints.frightens.composes, baseline.plugs.field, beaten.profiled.thinnest, builders.pitchers.prune, Carn Brea Red Streak

Row 2: Chacewater 30mph Russet, ghosts.taxpayers.given, cherish.immediate.looms, chuck.stunner.push, commander.dwelles.unroll, contains.complies.toolkit

Row 3: driver.accordion.push, emails.paranoid.workflow, gallons.grub.coverage, genetics.crescendo.alienates, hung.broadcast.examples, inspected.splinters.arts

Row 4: Just Delights Penryn, lifeboats.tasters.rejected, lossed.flosses.jugs, magpie.offstage.beside, mutual.assembles.spout, Nancekuke Long-Stem

Row 5: Nancekuke No.2, Nancekuke Non-pareil, nightcap.gloves.amplifier, nooks.safari.shops, nuggets.joys.exposing, pens.housework.taxi

Row 6: Polwheale’s Boden Vean, props.indulges.rocker, Radnor Road A30, Wheal Peevor Cottage, rank.chugging.gains, reactions.paraded.badly

Row 7: reseller.daily.bookings, Ruan Minor Holywell, seasick.looms.newsprint, Sinns Common No.2, Swanpool Maenporth Footpath, timed.blunders.ally

Row 8: unclaimed.magpie.twitches, unframed.deeds.pound, used.found.samples, visa.octagon.himself, Wheal Peevor, Cloudy Brindle