The university says it is keen to try to prolong the life of the tree, which is dying due to an incurable honey fungus infection, and to safeguard its horticultural heritage.
The university is currently discussing with the current owner the purchase of two cottages on Church Street, Southwell, a short distance from the university’s Brackenhurst Campus.
It hopes to refurbish the cottages for use as postgraduate student accommodation, while staff and students from its school of animal, rural and environmental sciences would assess and then attempt to prolong the life of the tree.
It also aims to open up the rose garden in which the tree stands to the public, as well as develop plans to formally celebrate the history and heritage of the Bramley, the UK’s most popular cooking apple.
Grafts of the original tree would also be replanted at the Brackenhurst Campus.
Dean of the school Professor Robert Mortimer said: "Unfortunately the tree will inevitably perish due to disease, but we would like to try to preserve this great tree for the people of Southwell for as long as possible.
"It has such huge cultural significance for the town and for Nottinghamshire, but also nationally and globally, and we want to play our part in recognising its importance."