Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree – a direct descented to that fêted tree
I was going to wait until this unassuming little apple tree came into flower – soon – but couldn’t wait. It’s been given a feed (liquid seaweed) and a good water and we will wait and watch. For it is an Important Tree with a serious History.
“Propagated from a tree growing in Isaac Newton’s garden at Woolsthorpe Manor, nr Grantham, Lincolnshire. It appears identical to Flower of Kent, which was listed in 1629 by Parkinson but not mentioned again until 1802 by Forsyth.
Large, heavily ribbed fruit. Cooks to a sweet, declicately flavoured purée.
Newton’s early work on gravitation was done 1665-66 when he was staying at his mother’s house, Woolsthorpe, where he had gone to escape the plague. while sitting under an apple tree, the ‘notion of gravity came into his mind oaccasion’d by the fall of an apple’. This tree, eventually supported by props, died in 1814. Its wood was used to make a chair for the Wollsthorpe Library. Some years previously the Manor owners had propagated it and planted a new tree in Lord Brownlow’s garden at nearby Belton. Material from this tree, via Kew Gardens and EMRS, Kent (now just East Malling Research, EMR), has provided scion wood for Isaac Newton trees at National Physics Laboratory, teddington and Cambridge; also in the US and New Zealand.
Pollinating group 20. Picking mid-October. Stores November to January”
I’m quoting Joan Morgan, doyenne of the apple with an international reputation – the Queen of Apples!
For a bit of background, an article from The Independent newspaper in 2010 – and sight of the contemporary Stukeley documents from the Royal Society archive.