History: King apples were first discovered in 1750 in New Jersey, USA, and introduced commercially in 1804. It was though to have originated in Tompkins County, hence the alternate names for this variety: King of Tompkins County and Tompkins King. However, it may have come from Warren County instead.
Why We Grow It: King apple trees produce large fruit with coarse, crunchy, aromatic flesh and delicious sub-acidic flavour. The colouring of streaky red over yellow skin tends to vary quite a lot amongst the fruit, making for an attractive bushel. It is an excellent multi-purpose apple: perfect fresh, baked, or pressed for cider.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 5
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: Vigorous with a spreading growth pattern, slow to start producing fruit but has good crops. Slightly susceptible to mildew, fireblight, and cedar rust and prone to water core but very resistant to scab.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Triploid, requires two pollinators of different non-triploid apple varieties that bloom around the same time
Flowering Time: Middle
Ripens: Late October
Storage: Keeps until December when stored in cold storage, although skin develops a greasy feel after a few weeks
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cooking, cider
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