History: Bulmer's Norman was imported from Normandy, France to England in the early 1900s by the cider making company H.P. Bulmer. This variety didn't even have a name when it arrived but quickly grew in popularity for use in making cider. This apple has since fallen out of the limelight and is primarily used for grafting other varieties onto its sturdy trunk.
Why We Grow It: Although less popular these days, this variety boasts vigorous growth, decent disease resistance, and a surprising tolerance for cold. This conical, green apple produces a bittersweet juice and is high in tannins.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4
Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Grows vigorously with a spreading growth pattern, tends to have heavy crops every other year. Resistant to fireblight, mildew, and brown rot.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Triploid, requires two pollinators of different non-triploid apple varieties that bloom around the same time
Flowering Time: Middle
Ripens: Mid October
Storage: Keeps a couple weeks when stored in cool, humid conditions
Recommended Use: Cider
- Class: Bittersweet
- Sugar: Medium, SG 1.056
- Acidity: Low, TA 3.4 g/L
- Tannins: Medium
- Juice Yield: Medium to high
Taste: Mildly bitter with an astringent aftertaste
- Recommendations: Helps to reduce acidity and increase tannins in cider blends
Size including roots:
- 1 year grade 100-200 cm whip
- 2 year grade 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- B grade less than 100 cm
*Information based on Claude Jolicouer's The New Cidermaker's Handbook and Washington State University's "Cultivar Performance Gallery"