The complex, sweet and tart aroma of the Braeburn apple is what makes it so popular. The Braeburn originally comes from New Zealand. There the trees and fruits thrive particularly well, because the growing season is long. In the Central European climate, cultivation is not so promising, but it is quite possible. The further south you live, the more promising a good harvest will be.

The Braeburn apple – description

The apple is medium in size, sometimes large. The fruits are asymmetrical, bellicose and moderately ribbed. The colors of the shell are yellow and red. Both colors appear over a large area. There are also short dark red stripes on the shiny skin, mostly on the red areas. The flesh is quite firm, some even say hard. It is yellowish to creamy white. The apples are very crisp. The taste is very aromatic and long-lasting. Unfortunately, as soon as the apple comes out of the refrigerator (storage), it quickly loses its firmness. On the other hand, it can be stored for a long time, at least chilled.

  • Braeburns with a very pronounced red color mostly belong to the mutant variety “Braeburn Hillwell”. Other equally common types are: “Hidala”, “Mahana”, “Royal Braeburn” and “Soutern Rose”.
  • The Braeburn apple is an excellent table apple, but is also suitable for cooking and baking, for compotes, fruit salads and juice.
  • Braeburn apples have the highest vitamin C content of all varieties. For a medium-sized apple you calculate with about 71 calories, 3% fat, 96% carbohydrates and 1% protein.

The Braeburn tree grows weak to medium strong. At first it is very upright and not very branched. The tree is very densely covered with short fruit wood. The flowers appear quite late, but that is cheap. If the tree blossoms too early, the blossoms are threatened by late frost. The flowering lasts medium long. The stocking with flowers is very regular and dense. The Braeburn is usually not ripe for picking until the end of October. The harvest period is only short, the yield is medium-high.

Braeburn apple – the cultivation

Braeburn apple trees do best in warm climates. The apples take a long growing season to ripen and develop their full aroma. If the right location and a good substrate are available, maintenance is straightforward. In Germany, apples thrive best in southern Germany. It is important to take precautions when growing, as the Braeburn apple tree is prone to apple scab. This is why this apple variety is not recommended for home gardens. Growing there is not that easy. Storage also has its pitfalls. Disturbances are common. So if you have one of these trees in your garden and can also harvest ripe apples, you should use them up as quickly as possible.

Braeburn apple trees require regular pruning. This helps to prevent the numerous diseases. Most of the time, however, the measure is not sufficient. This is why pesticides are often necessary. An adequate supply of nutrients is also important. Care must be taken that not too much nitrogen gets into the soil, as this in turn makes the tree susceptible to diseases.

All in all, in our part of the world, growing the Braeburn is not easy, but rather difficult. If you still want to try it, you should study the following text carefully.
The Braeburn absolutely needs a warm location. That is why this apple variety is usually cultivated in a wine-growing climate. It should also stand in full sun, otherwise the apples won’t ripen. Usually apple trees don’t like the bright sun that much, but the Braeburn is an exception. He also comes from the very warm New Zealand. Southeast and southwest facing are ok, but a pure south facing is even better.

  • The tree should be warm and sunny.
  • Give him a place where he is not so prone to late frost.
  • It is ideal to protect the location from winds and other influences with a hedge. But don’t keep the hedge too close to the tree!

Plant substrate

Good humus rich and deep soils are important for the Braeburn. The better the plant substrate, the better the apple trees will develop. Ripe compost is cheap to add to the planting hole when planting, about 1/3 of the excavation.

  • The soil must not be too wet or too compact.
  • Moist but permeable.
  • Waterlogging is deadly.
  • Acid soil can be whitewashed.


Apple trees are best planted in autumn. The Braeburn is no exception. It is best to use trees that are around three years old. The Braeburn is mostly only offered in tree nurseries or on the Internet. You will hardly find it in the garden market.

  • The Braeburn apple tree is a cross pollinator. This means that a second tree is needed to be able to harvest apples. Stranger pollen is needed. A second Braeburn is not suitable. It is best to use a crab apple. The “Evereste-Perpetu” and “Golden Gem” varieties are best for Braeburn, as the flowering times coincide.
  • The soil on which the tree is to stand must be cleared of all weeds.
  • The planting hole should be a lot bigger than the root ball, ideally twice as big.
  • Loosen the soil well at the bottom of the planting hole.
  • The roots are spread out. Cut out damaged parts!
  • Place the tree in the hole and fill in the soil.
  • The refinement point should be about 10 cm above the surface of the earth.
  • Press the earth down again and again in between.
  • It is beneficial if some compost is incorporated right away.
  • It is best to provide a support post and tie the tree to it.
  • Pour well and let the soil set, if necessary top up with soil.
Young apple tree roots are the favorite food of voles. Therefore, in gardens where the little four-legged annoyances are known to exist, it is ideal to put the roots in a wire basket. The wire mesh must neither be galvanized nor coated with plastic.

Watering and fertilizing

Watering is especially important after planting so that the apple tree can grow well. You don’t have to water every day, but twice a week and then vigorously, penetrating. As a shallow root, the apple tree is sensitive to prolonged drought. As a rule, apple trees do not have to be fertilized, but there are advantages. There are a few things to consider.

  • A lot of watering in the first year.
  • Do not let the root ball dry out completely for the next three years or so. Water every now and then when it is dry
  • Adult or older trees get along quite well without additional watering.
  • Fertilize only in spring, around March / April.
  • Fertilizer can help against fungal diseases. Organic fertilizers and ripe compost are ideal.
  • Natural fertilizers containing potash can prevent lice from occurring.
  • The right fertilizer at the right time can protect against frost sensitivity.
  • Do not fertilize with blue grain!
  • Do not fertilize immediately when planting, only in the following spring, but even then only lightly.
  • Do not fertilize too much, especially not with nitrogen!
  • The older an apple tree gets, the more fertilizer it needs.

To cut

The Braeburn is very susceptible to disease. In order to prevent diseases, a regular cut is absolutely essential. The treetops must be thinned out at regular intervals. It is important to build a stable shoring structure. Of course, it is beneficial if a high amount of fruit can be guaranteed.

  • It is cut in winter, between January and mid-March. When there is no foliage, you can see the structure and the individual branches. Do not cut in frost!
  • It is cut from the first year.
  • Trees from the nursery have usually already received an ideal upbringing, especially when they are already a few years old. That makes work a lot easier.
  • These Braeburn apple trees only need to be thinned out and shortened.
  • Cut out dead and damaged branches.
  • Cut out any branches that grow strongly inward.
  • Cut out all shoots of water growing vertically upwards. Cut off directly at the shoot.

Apply wound closure agent to interfaces that are larger than a one-euro coin.

Hibernate and multiply

The Braeburn is already hardy, but it is not particularly suitable for really cold regions or those with prolonged frost. In warmer areas, e.g. in the wine-growing climate, the Braeburn does not cause any problems during winter.

The Braeburn is only propagated through grafting. The later height of the tree depends on the base.

Diseases and pests

The Braeburn does not belong to the apple trees with good health. He is attacked by numerous diseases. Often the less than ideal conditions under which the trees have to thrive are to blame. But even under the best of conditions, diseases are quite common. It is therefore important to carry out plant protection measures on a regular basis.

  • “Braeburn Browning Disorder” – disease that particularly affects the Braeburn. The flesh of the apple turns brown and soaks up with water. The disease can often not be recognized from the outside. That is why such apples keep coming onto the market and customers are annoyed. But it is a storage disease. Whoever processes the apples fresh has little to do with it.
  • Apple scab – caused by a hose fungus. To be recognized by the leaves, by the dull olive green, later brown and blackish spots. These often flow together and form necrosis. The leaves are falling off. The apples usually have darker spots in which star-shaped cracks appear. These serve as a gateway for putrefactive agents. The disease has no influence on the taste, only on the shelf life .. Prevention by spraying the leaves with foliar fertilizers, good pruning. No direct sprays against the disease in the private garden.
  • Alternance (fluctuations in the fruit yield every two years) – the formation of flower buds is prevented by hormones. Hardly any flowers are planted, but a particularly large number in the following year. The inclination can be curbed by regular thinning.
  • Speck – deficiency symptom, recognizable by small, sunken, mostly pin-head-sized, brown spots on the peel of the apple. These spots go into the pulp. It tastes slightly bitter at this point. The symptoms usually only appear during storage. The apple can still be eaten without hesitation. The cause is a lack of calcium. This usually occurs when too much nitrogen in the soil prevents the calcium from being absorbed. Or when there is too much potassium and magnesium, which also prevent absorption. Tree pruning and leaf fertilizer counteract the disease.
  • Skin tan – storage sickness, brown spots on the skin, does not affect the pulp or taste. The occurrence indicates insufficient air exchange in the storage room.
  • Lenticel – similar to bitter pit, stains on the shell, sunken and usually dark brown to black. The cause is again a lack of calcium.
  • Powdery mildew – powdery mildew covers the surface of the apple tree with a whitish, floury layer. Infections are only possible in young tissue. Usually the tree is attacked in the period from mid-May to mid-June. When fighting, pruning measures and spraying should be used. If you don’t do anything, powdery mildew will be more pronounced every year. The yields decrease and the apples are of poor quality.
  • Feuerbrand – durch Bakterienbefall ausgelöste schwere Krankheit. Überträgt sich auf andere Gewächse. Ist meldepflichtig. Blätter und Blüten der befallenen Pflanze welken urplötzlich und immer vom Blattstiel aus. Sie werden braun und schwarz, fallen aber nicht ab. Triebspitzen krümmen sich nach unten. Der Baum sieht aus wie verbrannt. Es gibt keine im Hausgarten zugelassenen Mittel. Hier hilft nur ein Schnitt oder die Rodung.
  • Spider mites – Fruit tree spider mites are quite common. In the event of an infestation, premature leaf fall, growth inhibition, weakened trees and the fruits do not ripen. The infestation is shown by lightening and light-colored speckles and spots on the leaves, beginning first on the leaf veins, later everywhere. If the infestation is severe, the filaments can be seen, especially when it is wet, when drops are hanging on them. To be combated with predatory mites and winter and shoot spraying agents. However, resistances often arise.
  • Rust mites – gall mites often found on apple trees. Slight infestation is not a problem, strong infestation must be combated. This pest can be recognized by the underside of the leaves. They have a brownish discoloration, just rusty. If the infestation is severe, the apples also suffer, the peel shows a poorer color. The rust mites are fought with spraying (network sulfur). Predatory mites are better. For them, however, broad-acting insecticides have to be avoided, which is better anyway.

Braeburn apple – story

The Braeburn is a random seedling. It was discovered in 1952 by a fruit grower along the way. It is not entirely clear which apple varieties contributed to its creation. It is thought to be Cox Orange and Lady Hamilton, but it has not been proven. This apple variety owes its name to the town of Braeburn in New Zealand, where the apple was first grown in the Williams Brothers nursery.

From the 1980s to the turn of the millennium, the Braeburn apple was very popular around the world and was one of the most widely grown apple varieties in New Zealand. The Europeans in particular were crazy about these apples. They were then also quickly grown in Chile, the United States, and southern Europe. The trend has decreased in recent years. This is mainly due to falling prices. Because of this and because of the cultivation of new club varieties, the cultivation of Braeburn varieties is declining. Although this apple variety is still very popular in Europe, it is not the case on other continents. Even in its native New Zealand, the Braeburn is struggling. This is mainly due to exports to Asia. The obesity of the variety has decreased sharply. Within a few years, the production of apples has halved.

The Braeburn apple is definitely one of the tastiest. However, it is not easy to cultivate. I’m not sure that you have to do that either. Braeburn can be bought everywhere, also in organic quality, if you want that. In the garden I would plant a tree whose apples are difficult or impossible to get on the market. There are endless varieties. You’re sure to find the right one. I would also not choose an apple variety that is so susceptible to disease, but a healthy one, if possible with resistance, at least to a few diseases. So, before you buy, carefully weigh up whether it really has to be the Braeburn!

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