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Identification - Archived material from old website

This is archived information and not necessarily up-to-date.  Links and photos within the text are to our old site and may become broken as we transfer all information across. 


Ennis PearHere at the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust (GOT), we hope you will appreciate that we have little manpower for identification at present and we get scores of enquiries each year. With 2500 varieties of apple in the UK, it is not always easy to identify and it can take many years to build up the skills! We would encourage you to contact the Marcher Apple Network (see below) as they have a whole team of expert identifiers. 

You can also speak to GOT committee members Dave Kaspar and Helen Brent-Smith, who recognize many varieties because of their experience with comparing them for their juicing business  Dave/Helen sell at most Stroud farmers markets or you can leave labelled samples with GOT representatives at various apple day events in October.

Come along to our annual GOT October Apple Day at the Rural Skills Orchard Centre if you become a GOT member and chat with Dave Kaspar and Helen Brent-Smith then.

Charles Martell is not able to offer an identification service, unless for specific reasons (contact us for information).

Jim Chapman of Hartpury Heritage Trust Orchard Centre now offers a perry pear identification service (please see below), so this IS something GOT can help with! 

Identification services

You will need to make contact before sending in samples as there is normally a charge and specific instructions:


Sheila Leitch 01497 847354

Small charge per sample


Brogdale Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8XZ

01795 536250

£20 per sample



Pershore/Warwickshire College, Avonbank, Worcestershire WR10 3JP  

01386 552443 or try 0300 4560047

Perry pear identification

Malvern Autumn Show every September; bring your samples to compare with Jim Chapman's extensive display. Normally in the Orchard Pavilion. Also to Hartpury Heritage Trust autumn fayre and possibly other events.

Jim Chapman now offers a unique identification service (small fee) at Hartpury Perry Pear Orchard Centre       In time, there will be perry pear identification couses and more comprehensive colour field guides to add to the existing very useful Perry Pears book by Luckwill & Pollard, 1963 based on Ray Williams extensive research at Long Ashton Research Station (book obtainable from Vigo Ltd for about £25). Charles Martell's Pears of Gloucestershire book (hard copy) for sale in January 2014 and accompanying field guide to aid identification out now! Contact   for a copy.

Advice for all tree fruits 

  1. Send at least three specimens of each cultivar (variety). The specimens should be typical of the cultivar, neither bruised nor imperfect, and should have reached maturity, showing characteristic size and colour. With stalk intact.
  2. If possible, a sample of young shoot with foliage.
  3. Give as many details as possible, eg the soil, age of the tree, how regularly it crops, its habit (photo helpful), and the source of supply if known.
  4. An s.a.e. for the reply.

If a tree is known to have been raised from a pip, it is a new and therefore nameless cultivar and its fruit should not be sent for identification.

Number each sample and keep a record of the tree, bush or plant from which it was taken, as fruit cannot be returned. Apples and pears are best numbered in biro or marking ink on the skin. Plums and soft fruit should be securely packed in separate, clearly numbered bags. Do not use stick-on labels as they are liable to become loose in the post.

Pack in newspaper, polystyrene granules or similar material, in a strong box that will not be crushed in the post, and mark the wrapper "FRUIT NAMING". Do not use a box that has contained, for example, soap, as the smell masks the characteristic flavour of the fruit.