Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Original Bramley apple tree in Southwell is dying

The original Bramley apple tree - planted more than 200 years ago and the "mother" of all modern Bramley apples - is dying from a fungal infection.
The tree was sown by a girl called Mary Ann Brailsford in 1809 in the Nottinghamshire town of Southwell.
It has been neglected since the death of owner Nancy Harrison almost two years ago.
Bio-scientist Prof Ted Cocking, who has cloned the tree, said the people of Southwell should care for the Bramley.
Prof Cocking, from Nottingham University, has studied the tree for many years and used tissue cultures to micro-propagate the tree and create clones of the original Bramley.
"It looks as though it is going to die - although we can never be 100% certain with a tree.
"It is a great shame. Ms Harrison devoted most of her life looking after the tree and entertaining people who came from all over the world to visit the tree.
"Since her death, nobody has looked after the tree. The people of Southwell should club together to care for the tree and the garden - it wouldn't cost much.

"Even if it is dying - we all want to die with dignity. It needs to be nursed in its terminal years."

From one tree to thousands

  • A girl called Mary Ann Brailsford grew the tree from a pip in about 1809.
  • Henry Merryweather was just 17 when he came across a gardener carrying some of the apples in 1856, and asked where they had been grown. By this time, the garden containing the apple tree belonged to a butcher called Matthew Bramley.
  • Mr Bramley agreed that Mr Merryweather could take cuttings from the tree and grow them in his family's nursery, providing they had the name Bramley's Seedling.
  • There are now more than 300 Bramley growers in England

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