The wide diversity of old fruit-tree cultivars originating or introduced into Belgium during the 18th and 19th centuries was collected as far as feasible over the last fifteen years at the State Plant Pathology Station in Gembloux. Out of the 2400 accessions now collected, one quarter was recovered from old public collections, and three quarters came from farms or gardens. The initial intention was to screen the material for disease resistance and other characters of agronomic interest with a view to using the best cultivars as breeding parents. However, as the collection developed, genetic resources conservation also became an objectiveper se. The collection presently contains 1150 apple, 850 pear and 300 plum accessions, and smaller numbers of other fruit species. Each accession is evaluated in an experimental orchard for at least ten years. In view of the growing public interest in old fruit-tree cultivars, the Plant Pathology Station has for several years been releasing to the nursery trade the better cultivars emerging from the evaluation, namely nine apple and four plum cultivars, and one peach cultivar. The principal features of the apple cultivars are presented in this paper. Since 1988, old apple and plum cultivars have been being used at the Station as parents in a breeding programme, with both controlled and open pollination. In some instances, old apple cultivars have also been crossed with a modern parent carrying the Vf gene for scab resistance. The preliminary observations on some of these seedlings are presented.