Major (cider apple)

Major is a cider apple cultivar first grown in the United Kingdom in the area of Devon and Somerset.

SpeciesMalus domestica
Origin England.


Major is a 'bittersweet' under the categorisation system developed in 1903 by the Long Ashton Research Station, its fruit being high in tannins and relatively low in acidity. A long established variety dating from the 19th century or earlier, it was historically found in old farm orchards across South Devon and east of the Blackdown Hills in Somerset.[1]

A triploid variety, young trees of 'Major' are very vigorous in growth meaning it is unsuitable for use with some large-growing rootstocks.[2] It bears early in the season. The fruit are fairly typical of Somerset "Jersey" (bittersweet) apples,[3] and are medium sized with a pinkish red flush.

'Major' is amongst the cultivars classified as of 'vintage' quality, i.e. capable of making single-varietal cider.


  1. Annual Report of the Long Ashton Research Station, 1986, p.64
  2. Copas and Umpelby, 2002, Growing Cider Apples: A Guide to Good Orchard Practice, NACM, p. 20
  3. Copas (2001) Somerset Pomona: The Cider Apples of Somerset, Dovecote, p.48
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