Fruit identification

Let the RHS Fruit Specialist identify your mystery apple and pear cultivars


From 1 September 2023, we are pleased to resume our free fruit identification service for RHS members. Please read the details below before sending in your fruit to us.

What fruit you need to send

  • Please send 3 typical ripe fruit complete with stalks
  • Please well wrap the fruit in tissue paper (or similar) and pack it in a box
  • Avoid selecting fruit that is misshapen, undersized or not ripe
  • Including a small branch with undamaged, mature leaves also helps

How to send in fruit for identification

Post your fruit to us early in the week so the samples reach us in good condition. Send to: Fruit Naming, Gardening Advice, RHS Garden Wisley, Woking GU23 6QB.

Please provide the following information in a letter accompanying the fruit (if you don’t include the printed form above):

Your name, address, RHS membership number, and email address (we will respond by email wherever possible) along with the below information:

  • Town/city/village where the tree is growing
  • Typical ripening/picking time
  • Use – dessert, culinary, dual-purpose or cider
  • Location such as a domestic garden or an old orchard
  • Age of the tree if known, or an indication of age such as very old, mature or fairly recently planted
  • Any additional information you think might help us identify the fruits for you

We will aim to respond to you within 10 working days of receiving your fruit. However, some samples can take more work to identify, so please bear with us if it takes longer.

Please note: We are not able to identify fruit samples at our face-to-face Gardening Advice desks.

Privacy notice: Your personal data will be used by the RHS for the purposes of contacting you about your Fruit cultivar sample and for purposes stated in the member section of our Privacy Policy. Your data will be stored on our Gardening Advice and membership system in line with our retention policy. Please read the ‘Member’ section in our RHS Privacy Policy on our website for more information about how we use your personal data and how to exercise your rights under the applicable data protection legislation.

Opportunities to have your fruit identified at RHS Gardens:

This service has now finished for 2023 and new dates will be announced in summer 2024.

Options to identify your fruit

Brogdale Collections, home of the National Fruit Collection, offer a postal apple and pear identification service. Find out more on the Brogdale website.

Or, have a go at identifying the fruit yourself using the Fruit ID website.

Keen individuals, orchards and nurseries may consider using DNA identification. The NIAB research institute offers this  for apples, pears, strawberries and raspberries from samples of new growth in early summer.

Please note: This service can be expensive and would advise discussing the cost first.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.