Welcome to the experimental and conservation orchard of wild apples!





The orchard, grouping genetically characterized European populations of the European wild apple (Malus sylvestris) is:

-a research station to understand the impact of global changes (climate change, pest and pathogen outbreaks) on fruit trees;

-a site conserving the genetic legacy of an ancestor of the cultivated apple;

-a site which favors the colonization of the local biodiversity of the Saclay plateau;

-a station which offers great opportunity for teaching and divulgation activities on the issue relatives to conservation of wild genetic resources in the context of global changes.


European wild apple tree (Malus sylvestris) at the Fontainebleau forest, France, crédits : Amandine Cornille



The orchard is the first field station in France focusing on a wild relative (Malus sylvestris) to a crop fruit tree, the cultivated apple (Malus domestica). This project rise after three years of construction between 2017 to 2020, led by Amandine Cornille (CNRS researcher, Génétique Quantitative and Evolution -Le Moulon lab) with the participation a large community of actors (national research institute, association, researchers, colleges, farmers, schools, start-up, members of the general public…) that made this crowd-sourced science project feasible! 



The orchard will be established during fall 2020, with the planting of the wild apple trees [news coming soon]! The wild apple seedlings are, at the moment, growing in a greenhouse, genetically characterized at the Genetic Quantitative and Evolution lab until their transfer onto the orchard during fall 2020.

European wild apple seedlings in the greenhouse waiting for their transfer in fall 2020!

The orchard is open for all domestic and international scientists, teachers, students, and also to large audience, with any citizen who would like to learn more about the project. The orchard will be opened to large public during annual events such as “Fête de la Science” or “Semaine de l’environnement” for instance. Any person interested in organizing or participating to such event, or in developing research project, can contact us to @Pommier_verger on Twitter.


Funding and collaborators





This project is supported by:


European LEADER project catalysed by Association Terre et Cité




Our collaborators