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Ashmead's Kernel in Australia

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brad16 starts with ...
Every once in a while I get obsessed with trying to find Ashmead's Kernel here in Australia.

It's bizarre how frustrating it is when it seems so easy to get in the UK or US.

I know it did come to Australia, but I don't know if it's still here.
It is listed in the 'Catalogue Of Fruit Trees' in the Experimental Garden's Survey Paddock of the Horticultural Society of Victoria.


Around 1863, the garden was virtually destroyed by a flood and the majority of trees were lost.


I also thought that Macarthur planted Ashmead's Kernel at Camden Park Estate as part of the garden or nursery, but I'm unable to find it again, so that's unreliable.



It was a reasonably common apple in the UK back in the day, so I'm still wondering if it did get established here and merely forgotten.

Does anyone know of an Australian Ashmead's Kernel?
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12th May 2018 2:12am
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Hi Brad16

If you are still not a member of Heritage Fruits Society facebook page you might want to become a member so can easily post question to the 410 strong fanatic heritage fruit tree growers' members. I also emailed some heritage apple gurus about Ashmead's yesterday. I might get a reply this week or the next because this is a busy season for them. I will keep you posted whatever the result might be. Another heritage apple tree keepers worth inquiring is Strzelecki Heritage Apples in Gippsland Vic. They don't have an email add unfortunately so you have to call them, their phone no: (03) 5659 5242. There is also a possibility of sourcing seeds abroad and hopefully you can grow a superior cv among the seedlings. But you might have to go through the rigmarole of seed importation which is a bit easier than a live plant or a scion.

Happy Gardening :-)
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13th May 2018 4:27pm
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Original Post was last edited: 13th May 2018 4:32pm
brad16 says...
Thanks Fruity,

I've been on the apple trail for some years now. The last ones I got were from a Heritage Fruit Society (HFS) 'Grafting And Sales Day' at Petty's Orchard last year. Only some of them 'took', and they're still here with me in pots.

I've known of Strzelecki for a couple of years. Apparently they also got involved with HFS to help with tree identification when HFS took custodianship of Petty's Orchard.

HFS publishes a list of the known cv's at Petty's Orchard at:

HFS also lists the cv's at Werribee Park:

Strzelecki, and other scion suppliers list theirs at:

Although the catalogues are dated 2011.

or can be browsed at

The Lost Seed

Although not a retailer, arguably Australia's best holding of heritage apples is at Grove Heritage Nursery in the Huon Valley, Tasmania.

The Huon Apple and Heritage Museum
has a list of apples that they display from the above nursery

Without finding a heritage apple among those, or lists of apples known to have been introduced, I think it would be safe to say that the likelihood of finding it in Australia is getting quite slim. There could have been other importations in the day, but without a record of it, it is virtually lost. Small holdings change hands, and what used to be a cultivar is lost if the owner isn't aware of it or maintains it. What may have been an Ashmead's Kernel, just becomes an 'Apple Tree'.

I think that was the fate of Ashmead's Kernel in Australia, if it actually was ever established.

Ashmead heads the list of 'apples that interest me, but I don't have':

Ashmead's Kernel
Duke of Devonshire
Herefordshire Russet
Karmijn de Sonnaville

Ashmead is also the most likely to be in Australia. The others I'm pretty sure never came here.
Except for Duke of Devonshire, the others are pretty similar in heritage (progeny of Cox's Orange + another), so it's not really worth losing sleep over.

I'm not on Facebook (this is the only 'web thing' I participate in), so I appreciate your interest. Thanks
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15th May 2018 3:17am
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Hi Brad

Some of The heritage apple wizards have came back with an answer. The prognosis is grim - they think that ashmead's kernel is already extinct in Australia. Let's see what the other apple Yodas will have to say when they reply.

Happy gardening :-)
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15th May 2018 3:42pm
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Original Post was last edited: 15th May 2018 7:32pm

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