Little Pax apple tree to be launched by Frank P Matthews

A new variety of apple tree will be launched by fruit and ornamental tree grower Frank P Matthews at the HTA National Plant Show in Stoneleigh (24 June).

Little Pax started in the 1990s, when a single tree of unknown origin was gifted to St Cecilia's Abbey in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

In 2010, Anselma Scollard from the Abbey approached Frank P Matthews managing director Nick Dunn to ask whether this new variety might be grown and sold nationwide. After four years of trials, Frank P Matthews is now growing Little Pax at its nurseries in Worcestershire. Charitable donations from every sale will go to St Cecilia's Abbey.

Dunn said: "It was an engaging life story that caught our imagination initially. The Little Pax tree offers a high yield, abundant flowering and is rated reasonably well for disease resistance, as well as offering good resistance to frost at blossom time. It is also proving to be an excellent keeping variety.

"We are growing 2,500 trees for the autumn market and will be promoting Little Pax directly to consumers. I am confident that the combination of a lovely story, stunning blossom and an amazing fruit will nurture demand through garden centres."

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