Burr Knot

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Why you should be excited

Burr Knot is an old English apple best known for burrs at the base of its branches that will easily root.

The story of Burr Knot

It’s maybe not particularly confidence-inducing to know this is an apple variety not really remembered for its taste or texture or appearance or even keeping ability.

No, Burr Knot is mainly remembered for its tendency to produce burrs at the base of each branch. Burrs that easily root, should the branch be severed from the tree and then planted. This makes for easy propagation, unlike most apple varieties, where sticking a branch in the ground is almost always guarantee to result in a dead piece of wood sticking in the ground. Which then brings us to the question: is this an easy-to-propagate variety that's actually worth propagating?

If you like British-style cooking apples, which have some sharpness and cook down to a puree, then you’ll likely answer 'yes' and conclude that you enjoy Burr Knot. If you feel otherwise, then it’s the novelty of this apple tree's growth that will win you over, if anything does at all.

Back in the day, Burr Knot was used as a rootstock as well as doing duty in the kitchen. A useful apple variety, indeed.

Burr Knot Facts

Its origins

Unknown origins. First recorded in England, 1818.

Flavour, aroma, texture

This cooking apple is sweet, flavourful and juicy. Cooks down to a yellow puree.

Appearance

This yellowish-green apple can be slightly misshapen.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in mid-September).

Quality for fresh eating

Mainly used as a cooking apple.

Quality for cooking

Good.

Quality for cider

Not particularly known for use in cider, but like many heritage varieties, it can contribute a very nice sugar/acid balance to blends.

Keeping ability

So-so (1 month or slightly longer when kept refrigerated).