Heritage Fruit Trees

Heritage fruit trees come in a fantastic array of mouth-watering flavours, colours and textures. These are the old fashioned varieties that you are unlikely to find in a supermarket or even a farm shop. Therefore the only way to enjoy them is to grow your own.

At Frank P Matthews we aim to preserve the best of these old varieties so that they can be savoured for generations to come. Even some of the less popular types are important for maintaining a diverse genetic pool to use in future breeding programmes.

Generally, any variety that is known to be in cultivation before the year 1900 can be defined as ‘Heritage Fruit Trees’.

Heritage Apples

The Apple is part of our cultural heritage, with thousands of known varieties suitable for cooking into delicious pies, or eating straight from the tree. Apple trees can be harvested from August until October and can be stored for many months after, depending on the variety. Some varieties of fruit can last right up until Christmas.

Heritage Blackcurrant Trees (Pre 1900) 1

Heritage Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants are easy to grow, producing bunches of dark purple berries from July to August and are rich in vitamin C. Their tart flavoured fruits can be made into pies, jams and cordials. A blackcurrant bush can also be grown in containers if you are short on space. Their delicious fruits are ready for picking in July.


Mid season. Medium berries, hang well. Rich for vitamin ‘C’. Still the best flavoured blackcurrant of them all!

Heritage Damsons

Damsons, with their richly astringent flavour, are peculiar to the UK, and are easily grown in most situations. Damson trees originate from the native plum, Prunus insititia. Sloe or Blackthorn damsons appear in our hedgerows in Prunus spinosa which is widely planted in Europe.

Heritage Gage

Gages are small plums that have a more delicate constitution but with superior flavour and sugar content. Gage trees are often shy to crop but will have the occasional good year where patience will be rewarded.

Heritage Mirabelle, Nectarine and Peach

All part of the Prunus family. Mirabelle are usually small and sweet with smooth skin, and a soft juicy texture. Nectarine trees are the smooth skinned peach. Often considered to have a superior flavours to its well loved cousin. Peach trees are a lovely garden fruit which offer both fruiting and ornamental qualities. The sweet and juicy fruits crop from June and are delicious eaten from the tree.

Heritage Pear

Pears have a rich history but many have their origins in other countries. Those that are derived from the UK are generally the best for our gardens. They are known as the queen of fruits to many fruit lovers when eaten at the perfect moment.

Heritage Plums

Plum trees produce hardy fruits that can be picked from early July to late September. For fresh eating and various culinary uses, they come in all shades of read, blue, purple and yellow. Large, round fruits are firm, sweet and refreshing. These delicious fruits can be used for cooking into lovely pies, jams and even tasty gins!

Heritage Quince

Quince trees produce fruit that are high in nutritional benefits for fatigue and debility. In addition to the showy fruit are lovely soft, pink flowers and large leaves, making this tree worth its place in the garden.