All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Kingston Black apple


Kingston Black is a small dark red apple, formerly grown in the West Country cider-producing regions of England, and now a popular variety amongst cider enthusiasts.  However it is not the easiest of varieties to grow, generally considered a poor cropper and somewhat prone to disease.

English cider is traditionally produced using blends of Sweet, Bittersweet, Sharp, and Bittersharp juice - Kingston Black produces one of the best bittersharp juices.  Hogg, writing at the end of the 19th century refers to Kingston Black as "the most valuable cider apple", and Kingston Black is widely believed to have one of the best-flavoured juices.

It is worth noting that the word "cider" has quite different meanings in the UK and North America.  In North America fresh apple juice is known as "cider", whereas in England "cider" means fermented apple juice - which is known as "hard cider" in the USA.  Thus most traditional English "cider" apples cannot be eaten fresh, nor is their juice necessarily palatable when freshly pressed - they are grown solely for the production of hard cider.



Kingston Black identification photos

UK National Fruit Collection
UK National Fruit Collection
©Crown Copyright more >

  • Kingston Black
    Copyright: Orange Pippin

  • Kingston Black
    Copyright: Orange Pippin

Visitor reviews

  • 31 Oct 2016  John,  WILTSHIRE, United Kingdom
    Can't understand the reputation this has as a difficult tree. It is the healthiest and most reliable apple tree in my orchard. Always gives a good crop, even in "off" biennial years, and no disease of any kind, in a very wet, clay soil.
  • 19 Aug 2016  Dan Kissane,  Ireland
    I have two Kingston Blacks on MM106. Contrary to most accounts, mine are very heavy croppers and completely scab and canker-free. I'm looking forward to making some single varietal cider this autumn and am going to plant another four trees - grafted them last spring.
  • 13 Mar 2015  Gil Schieber,  WASHINGTON, United States
    Hard, sweet, tough, full flavored, right up there with Staymen Winesap but still not the range. Have it on p-22 which doesn't grow enough!
  • 13 Mar 2015  Gil Schieber,  WASHINGTON, United States
    Hard, sweet, tough, full flavored, right up there with Staymen Winesap but still not the range. Have it on p-22 which doesn't grow enough!

Tree register

United States

United Kingdom

Belgium

France

Ireland

Netherlands

Canada

Australia

New Zealand

Spring blossom records for this variety

2017 season

  • 12th May  2017  - tree owned by Eric in Bristol, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 21st May  2016  - tree owned by Eric in Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 19th May  2016  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
  • May  2016  - tree owned by John in Malmesbury, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • 9th May  2015  - tree owned by Jon in Brigg, United Kingdom
  • 2nd March  2015  - tree owned by Michael in Glen Rock, United States

2014 season

  • 20th May  2014  - tree owned by Bruce in Taunton, United Kingdom
  • 16th May  2014  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
  • 12th May  2014  - tree owned by Mark in Leyburn, United Kingdom
  • 10th May  2014  - tree owned by Eric in Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 10th May  2014  - tree owned by Nick in North Curry, United Kingdom
  • 7th May  2014  - tree owned by John in Malmesbury, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 29th May  2013  - tree owned by Eric in Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 23rd May  2013  - tree owned by Bruce in Taunton, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 21st May  2012  - tree owned by Eric in Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 15th May  2012  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States

2011 season

  • 21st April  2011  - tree owned by Bruce in Taunton, United Kingdom

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.


Harvest records for this variety

2016 season

  • 1st week October  2016  - tree owned by John in Malmesbury, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 4th week September  2014  - tree owned by John in Malmesbury, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 3rd week September  2013  - tree owned by Bruce in Taunton, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 3rd week October  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States

2011 season

  • 2nd week October  2011  - tree owned by Bruce in Taunton, United Kingdom
  • 1st week September  2011  - tree owned by Mark in Palo Alto, United States

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Originates from: Kingston, near Taunton, Somerset, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 19th century
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1540
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1999-096

Using

  • Uses: Juice
  • Uses: Hard cider
  • Harvest period: Very-Late season

Growing

  • Cropping: Light
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Precocity: Slow to start bearing

See also:


Diseases

  • Canker  - Some susceptibility
  • Scab  - Some susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some susceptibility


Where to buy fresh fruit

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