John Sampson Apple (Taffs Well, Cardiff)

Original price was: £29.95.Current price is: £18.99.

History & Discovery

A family apple tree with a remarkable history spanning nearly a Century and journeying across the length of Wales.

This completely unique variety (genetically tested) was growing in John Sampson’s allotment in Taffs Well. When forced to leave the allotment, the young tree was transplanted in to his garden on Tabor Street.

The hardy apple remained there when Mary (nee Sampson) and John Yorath moved in, around the year 1944. Unfortunately the originally tree is no longer there but a cutting was taken and planted in Gwaelod Y Garth in the 1960s. This new tree was also dug up and transplanted to a garden in St Athan, and again the tree was lost. 

A second cutting was taken from the tree in St Athan and used to grow a new one in a garden in Brynrefail, Gwynedd around 1984. This tree was dug up and transplanted into the garden of Bron Y Graig in 1987 although this tree is also no longer there.

Remarkably, a THIRD cutting was taken and planted in the garden of Ty Salem, Betws Garmon around 1993. Thankfully, this tree still remains and several cuttings have been taken by the family and planted in Betws Garmon and Caernarfon.

This unique apple is a literal example of a family tree! It illustrates how horticulture and gardening is part of so many families and communities history and thanks to a series of cuttings, can be passed down through the generations.

The painting shown on the label is by the famous artist Gillian Yorath – the little girl sat in the tree!


Pitcher type with burrs on trunk and branches. Cooker or an eater. Retains colour when cooked. Makes a good puree.

Rootstock & Eventual Tree Size

All fruit trees are grafted onto rootstocks. The rootstocks determine eventual tree size.
Bigger trees are more robust & produce more fruit, but take up more space.
Always choose a bigger rootstock if you need extra anchorage or your soil is poor (very wet, dry or rocky). Small trees cannot compete with grass and weeds.

If you want your fruit tree to remain smaller than its eventual tree size, simply prune back in the summer.

(Unsure about summer pruning? Click here to check out our video guide!)

Pollination Group: B

Bilingual product label and small “Welsh to the Core!” tie-on label (left) included.