New Varieties

Adding new trees to our range is an important part of what we do at Frank P Matthews. Over the years we have introduced some of the very best varieties of fruit and ornamental trees to the market. At any one time we will have lots of potential new trees on trial.

See below our new varieties we are offering for the 2022/23 season.

Malus Halloween™

The Halloween Crab Apple. Yellow-orange crab apples are ribbed in appearance looking like mini pumpkins. Perfect for the Halloween season! Spring flowers are white and semi double and perfect for attracting pollinating insects. This crab apple acts as natural bird feeder in the autumn. Won Best In Category at the HTA National Plant Show 2022.

Bred by Hugh Ermen, Kent, UK. 

Plum Malling™ Elizabeth®

This new Plum variety has been named after Queen Elizabeth II and released to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee 2022. Malling™ Elizabeth® is a heavy cropping Victoria-like plum. Large, firm ovate shaped, red-purple plums are produced in abundance in early July. The fruit are sweet and an average weight of 37g per fruit. Flesh is juicy and yellow-orange. Small, white flowers arrive in spring. Partially self fertile. Prunus domestica L. (Plum) Malling™ Elizabeth® EU PBR pending 20200654, UK 25/593.

Bred at NIAB EMR East Malling Reseach Centre, East Malling Kent. Opal x Herman.

Apple Queen of the Realm™

This very exciting apple has been released to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee 2022. Selected from our own trials programme, this apple is something very special. It has a unique appearance of a beautiful purple blushed skin with white undertones, resembling HM The Queen’s resplendent purple robes. The lenticles are prominent giving a slightly freckled appearance. The flesh is white, crunchy, crisp and juicy with sweet, aromatic flavours. This variety eats beautifully when picked straight from the tree in mid September or can be stored for a couple of months.

Worcestershire 2022.

Betula White Chocolate®

Betula ermanii White Chocolate® has a very narrow and neat pyramidal growing habit. This variety is perfect for small spaces and also looks magnificent when planted in lines along an avenue or driveway. Small, attractive green leaves appear in the spring alongside the yellow catkins. Bark turns a lovely white chocolate colour from an early age. Great autumn colours of yellow and orange! Works well when paired with Betula utilis ‘Cacao’®.

PBR WVO2F2 Originated from The Netherlands, Van Vliet W.J. van Ooi.

Betula utilis subs. albosinensi Cacao®

Betula utilis subs. albosinensi Cacao®  has a very narrow and neat pyramidal growing habit. This variety is perfect for small spaces and also looks magnificent when planted in lines along an avenue or driveway. Small, attractive green leaves appear in the spring alongside the yellow catkins. Bark turns a dark chocolate brown from an early age. Great autumn colours of yellow and orange! 

 PBR C1 Originated from The Netherlands, Van Vliet W.J. van Ooi.

Carpinus bet Chartreuse® (Carpsim)

Carpinus betulus ‘Chartreuse’® is an unique hornbeam. It is less vigorous than other hornbeam with spring and early summer golden-lime green leaves that slowly turn an attractive chartreuse yellow-green from mid-summer onwards. Suitable for specimen and hedging use. Easy to grow in a wide range of soils. 

Found by Simon Williamson on his nursery. Introduced 2022. Carpsim EU27 PBR.

Choosing new Varieties

Breeding, selecting and sourcing exciting new trees is a long-term process that, with patience, can yield excellent results. It’s worth noting that over 98% of trees in our trial orchards are ultimately discarded as not being good enough. But every so often one comes through that is special enough to propagate and promote. Even when a variety is identified as worth shouting about, it can take several more years to build up sufficient stock to include in our catalogue.

Searching for new varieties is ongoing and makes the palette of trees continually more interesting for growers and gardeners alike. With fruit trees we look for improved or original flavour, better yields and disease resistance. For ornamental trees we may be hunting for special flowers, berries, form, leaves or bark. Nature can conjure up some wonderful surprises. Sometimes these can be subtle, other times delightfully dramatic.

Old favourites such as Apple ‘Cox’ and Plum ‘Victoria’ were themselves once new. Since arriving on the horticultural scene thousands of others have been bred or discovered. Ornamental trees such as Magnolias have been cross-pollinated by individual breeders to create a tremendous range. Seedling selections of Betula and Sorbus continue to add more colour and shape to our gardens. The choice is now wider than ever so there really is a tree for every space and taste.


Many of the apples grown commercially today were either chance seedlings found by accident or raised by professional and amateur breeders. Successful breeders are rare and have instinctive natural abilities and none come more acclaimed than Hugh Ermen. Hugh sadly passed away in 2009 but his legacy lives on in numerous superb varieties such as the apples ‘Scrumptious’, ‘Herefordshire Russet’, ‘Limelight’ and ‘Winter Gem’. Some of Hugh’s unnamed trees are still being monitored in our orchards today.

Other varieties were discovered by chance such as the incredible apple ‘Christmas Pippin’, spotted growing by an English motorway and proving to be one of the most tasty and reliable late apples we have produced. Another recent introduction ‘Rosette’ was found in a garden in Worcestershire as a natural ‘sport’ of ‘Discovery’, offering a richer flavour and attractive red-blushed flesh, making it one of the best early apples and unbeatable for juicing.

Working in Partnership

We also work in partnership with plant breeders all over the world to help develop new varieties and bring the most promising to the UK market. Organisations, individual breeders and nurseries such as Artevos, Bayerische Obstzentrum, Gräb Nursery in Germany and Botden van Willegan Nursery in Holland. All have links to or their own interesting breeding programmes that give us access to yet more new fruit and ornamental trees. Some of these come from the commercial fruit growing industry and others from more specialist programmes. The science involved in breeding is becoming increasingly sophisticated opening up more possibilities of hybridisation, through the rapid identification of genetic markers. Much of the work involves improving the rootstocks available as well as the varieties themselves.

You can find more about our partnership nurseries by clicking on the links below:

Every summer when we release our new catalogue the one question we always get asked by our customers is ‘what new varieties are there?’. To which we are always delighted to discuss our latest selections. The interest they generate and the positive feedback we get continues to reassure us that the investment is worthwhile.