Fruitful Endeavour

The Fruit manual

This year its 150th anniversary since Robert Hogg published the Fruit Manual. It is so inclusive that it was consulted for over a century and is still referred to today. The first of the fruit manuals was 280 pages long and covered almost all the range of hardy fruits included that of apples.

Although Hogg’s was praised for the comprehensiveness of the manual, he was in fact criticised for the lack of ‘apple classification system’, having no key for readers to identify types of apples. As Robert Hogg was always interested in pleasing his readers, in the final edition of the manual this had 129 groups of apples which took up 29 pages to explain.

Fruit History


Apples Grapes Cherries Soft fruit and Plums Pears
Many of our best-known apples were bred or discovered in the 19th century. For instance ‘Cox’s Orange pippins’ which Hogg described as an excellent desert apple. These were primarily grown in glasshouses. A large number of sweet cherries that were mentioned in the manual, few are still grown today. None of the strawberries and only one type of raspberries are still around from Hogg’s day. The Williams Bon Chrétienis now the worlds most widely grown commercial pear.




Apples grown in the UK have many positive attributes. For instance, there is a wider awareness for healthy eating and an increased emphasis on improving eating quality reducing pesticides and extending the growing season. Cultivars bred in warmer climates tend to mature late in the UK, with the harvest being not until October and November when frost damage occurs.


Apple Trivia:

  • Apples are thought to have originated from Asia and have been in cultivation for over 4,000 years.
  • Since the Roman occupation, Apples have been growing in Britain.
  • ‘Cox’s Orange Pippins’ makes up more than 50 percent of the countries area of dessert apples.
  • People with a birch pollen allergy can also be allergic to apple fruit.

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