Stephen Hayes - Legendary Orchardist


Stephen Hayes is not doing as much orchard work this year. He posted the following update to his youtube channel a few days ago. If your not familiar with his videos I highly recommend them! - " Published on Feb 19, 2017 Hi, not posted much lately as little to say, increased demands from daytime job, and illness (not critical but debilitating). I am out of time and energy. I will send to people I have made promises to previously or who missed out last year or special cases, at my discretion. I have cut a small amount of scion wood including Queen Cox, Tom Putt, Adams Pearmain, Pitmaston Pineapple, Devonshire Quarrenden, May Queen, Ribston Pippin andHeusgens Golden Reinette, as being some of the most valuable and rare. contact me on My decision is final, sorry but it's time and energy, I am currently right out of both and there is literally nobody who can do this for me. PS if anyone is after a large amount of wood and can travel to Botley (10 miles south of Winchester, central south coast) you can cut wood yourself if we meet up at the orchard by arrangement.".
Sure hope he feels better soon and his day job gets a little easier. He is a truly talented grafter and fruit grower in England. Some of the techniques I use I learned partly from his videos. Anyone else like his videos and follow his posts?


Count me as a Stephen Hayes "groupie". :grin:


@clarkinks- thanks for posting.
@greyphase - me, too. His videos definitely helped me learn to graft.


I like Stephens videos as well. I always found it interesting that he has goes against the norms when it comes to apples by growing them all without a central leader.


Stephen's videos are what captivated me, it inspired the passion for apples that I have now. I can watch videos of him doing nothing and I'd still enjoy it.


His videos got me started and I still watch them.


Even if he talks about the same stuff he makes it enjoyable. That huge orchard must be exhausting at any age and he's a busy man. Its a shame he doesn't try to get some volunteers to help out with working it.


Yep, got me hooked too!


I watch his vids. There is no denying he is a talented orchardist and generous sharer of information.

He convinced me to trial the Welsh apple, Baker's Delicious, among others.


Count me as a big fan as well, his passion for ancient apples and willingness to share his experiences with them is just about as good as YouTube gets. Sorry to hear he is harried and unwell.


Yes he is a gem. Thanks to his videos I have grafted Lord Lambourne, Margil, Court Pendu Plat, and Winston. The first three produce lovely apples and Winston is still too young. Long live English apples!


Yup, his were some of the first apple videos I watched. I'm still working on tracking down some of the varieties he grows.

Edit (a mostly complete rundown of my experience with the apples I learned about from Stephen):
I finally found Suntan wood this year and grafted May Queen last spring. I'm still looking for Blue Tit (euro plum).

Egremont Russet is a very good high sugar apple, but has too many problems for me (especially rots) and I've been grafting over it.

I like Kidds Orange Red a lot (big, crunchy, flavorful), but over-cropped my tree too badly- broken branches and it eventually declined, part of which I think is due to the interstem rootstock. I've grafted it onto other stocks.

Ashmead's Kernel is a high sugar, high flavor apple that I really like. A negative is that it gets some bitter pit.

If all goes well, I should be getting a better sampling of Adam's Pearmain, Pitmaston Pineapple, Court Pendu Plat, and Winston. I had one very promising St. Edmunds Pippin and hope for more.

I have a Orleans Reinette tree which runted out. That reminds me that I should look for a bit of wood on it, to put on something more vigorous. I actually found it once in a grocery store and it was excellent.

Maybe in the future, I'll graft Baker's Dozen or Devenshire Quarenden. For now, I should probably focus on getting my current trees productive.


Yeah im grafting devonshire quarrenden, lord lamborne, orleana reinette, egremont russet, & pitmaston pineapple because of him this year, cant wait!


We have 2 Orleans Reinette on M111, based almost entirely on his appraisal of the fruit and tree. Mr. Vance your account of O. R. runting out prompted me to watch his video review of the tree. Of course like all his trees his are fine well shaped specimens, ours however seem to think they are part Sequoia. I really do need to work on getting the limbs spread this weekend. I don't know why I didn't begin shaping them last season, not like I don't have things staked and weighted all over the yard. They are really healthy big leaved trees on M111 that I would happily let carry as much fruit as they may set, hoping to brake their growth, no real spurs yet though so that's just a fantasy. Anyway glad this thread got started it was good to watch one of the master's videos again and remind me of what is possible.


"Count me as a Stephen Hayes "groupie". "

Me too !!!! I'll always remember you should be able to throw your hat thru a tree when you are done pruning!


I really love his grafting videos. There are a bunch of other videos about grafting, but a lot of them are over produced. Mr. Hayes' videos are pretty "to the point" and I love them for that. When I want a quick refresher, his videos are the ones I want. Several of his videos are saved into some of my grafting playlists!


I thought it was "throw your cat" when I first heard it.:smirk:

His videos started me out and gave me the push I needed to try varieties in our cold zone that may not have been tested here. What could I loose? A few scion and some time, and I gained a few varieties that I never knew could taste so good.


He responded to an old comment of mine today on youtube, looks like he's gonna follow up on the old tree he grafted in his yard 'queen cox' today per my request. awesome!


Stephen emailed me back earlier today and it does sound like he's feeling better. He's still very busy so I feel privileged he took the time to send me an update. I'm hopeful he will get an opportunity to browse the forum sometime in the future. Keeping Stephen in my prayers that he makes a full and speedy recovery!


Stephen released a new video of the queen cox tree yesterday so Dan's suggestion was taken to heart. He didn't call you out by name but did mention in the video that you requested the update.