The original Bramley apple tree - planted more than 200 years ago and the "mother" of all modern Bramley apples - is dying from a fungal infection.
The tree was sown by a girl called Mary Ann Brailsford in 1809 in the Nottinghamshire town of Southwell. It has been neglected since the death of owner Nancy Harrison almost two years ago. Bio-scientist Prof Ted Cocking, who has cloned the tree, said the people of Southwell should care for the Bramley.
Prof Cocking, from Nottingham University, has studied the tree for many years and used tissue cultures to micro-propagate the tree and create clones of the original Bramley.
"It looks as though it is going to die - although we can never be 100% certain with a tree. "It is a great shame. Ms Harrison devoted most of her life looking after the tree and entertaining people who came from all over the world to visit the tree.