Tolman Sweet Apple

Tolman Sweet Apple

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History: Little is known about the origin of this heritage apple, but Tolman Sweet has been highly valued since its discovery. It is uncertain whether it came from Massachusetts or New York in the 18th or 19th century but it was first recorded in 1822. This hardy tree was used as a source of rootstock at one time.

Why We Grow It: Tolman Sweet is a great all-purpose apple. The fruit are medium-sized with yellow skin, and have a distinctly sweet, dry flesh. They are nice for fresh eating but can also be used in baking, drying, and pickling. Their unusually low acid content helps to reduce acidity in both sweet and hard cider.

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 3

Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions. 

Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Moderately vigorous and very hardy, precocious, spreading growth pattern, tends to bear fruit every other year. Susceptible to fireblight.

Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)

Pollination: Requires a pollinator of a different apple variety that blooms around the same time

Flowering Time: Middle

Ripens: Late October

Storage: Keeps a few months when stored in cold storage

Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cooking, cider

Cider Properties:*
  • Class: Sweet
  • Sugar: High, SG 1.061
  • Acidity: Low, TA 1.4 g/L
  • Tannins: Low, 0.1 g/L
  • Juice Yield: Low, 90 mL/lb
  • Taste: Sweet
  • Recommendations: Good in blends where it adds sweetness and balances out more acidic varieties

Size including roots:

  • 1 year grade 100-200 cm whip
  • 2 year grade 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
  • B grade less than 100 cm

*Information based on Michigan State University's "Great Lakes Cider Apple Collection"