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

King of Tompkins County apple

This heirloom apple is thought to have originated in New Jersey, but it was first publicized by Jacob Wycoff, a grower in Tompkins County, New York, around 1805.  He named it the King apple, but it gradually became known as King of Tompkins County.

King of Tompkins County identification images

USDA identification images for King of Tompkins County

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.


    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Visitor reviews

    • 18 Feb 2022 
      These are, without exception, THE best apples one can find! We had a tree in Seattle that in 1960 was already mature. It produced exceptional fruit. I'm too old to plant a tree and hope for fruit but maybe I can buy some in the fall.
    • 22 Aug 2018  WA, United States
      Was quite sure our apples are Tompkins King. However, they are ready in August. Other descriptors match. What do you think?
    • 21 Jan 2018  OREGON, United States
      I grew up with one of these trees, in Issaquah, Wa. Pac.N.W., USA, and concurr with above ratings. I recall that wormy cores was the main issue in regards to the apples storability. I'm eager to see how it produces here in Oregon, where I've grafted a scion onto an indigenous Malus fusca, just 2 years ago. It's grown about 12 feet (4M) in that time.
    • 18 Sep 2016  BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada
      I am pretty sure our ancient apple tree is a King of Tompkins. Some of the apples are enormous and it is a great apple for eating, cooking and juicing. We have a very tall tree, which may be as old as our house-built in 1910.
    • 01 Nov 2014  WA, United States
      I've been eating apples all my life , raised in upstate N.Y. . My Dad religiously went apple shopping with all of us every fall trying all varieties. In WA , I happened to find a huge apple w/tiny core, SWEET and kept extremely well.. Found at an overstock store in Everett ,WA. Went to Portland the next week to look at land , met a guy whose Grandmother had 3 of these trees. He said they had a special name, small core and huge. Same exact color and size as this pic. Not a better apple have I tried!
    • 12 Oct 2014  WA, United States
      I have a large Tompkins King in my yard, age in excess of 35 years, since I have lived here for 30 years. The tree is challenge by our moss, scab, and fungus but remains healthy and productive year to year. The King is a traditional heritage variety well adapted to the Pacific NW. My neighbor across the street has a couple more large Kings, also healthy and productive.
    • 20 Oct 2012  BC, Canada
      The Caleb Pike Heritage park has one remaining of the originals planted in 1883. Of the various types, this is an exceptional apple. We have taken cuttings and grafted onto rootstock to preserve for the park.
    • 03 Oct 2011  DERBYSHIRE, United Kingdom
      I agree with the comments above. When cooking you don't really need to add sugar. The tree is at my Grandma's house in a place called Ripley, UK. It was brought over 80 years ago and has been a little hit and miss - it was struck by lightning once! However, just before my Grandma died last year it produced the best crop we have ever seen. Amazing tree.
    • 13 May 2011  WA, United States
      My grandmother has 2 of these trees on her farm in Skagit County, WA. They are my most favorite of all apples for eating raw as they are soooo sweet. They keep all winter in a cool location. Her apples are enormous--larger than any variety sold in stores.
    • 12 Dec 2010  BC, Canada
      I believe my apple tree is a King. It ripens late (mid Oct) - tastes great as a dessert apple and cooks very well.

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom

    Netherlands

    Canada

    Australia

    • Hayden in Winslow, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2022 season

    • 12th May  2022  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

    2021 season

    • 5th May  2021  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

    2020 season

    • 21st May  2020  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

    2019 season

    • 8th May  2019  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

    2018 season

    • 18th May  2018  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

    2016 season

    • May  2016  - tree owned by Lois in New Westminster, Canada
    • 6th April  2016  - tree owned by Chris in Kennewick, United States

    2015 season

    • April  2015  - tree owned by J. in Elmira, United States

    2012 season

    • 5th May  2012  - tree owned by Joan in Tsawwassen, Canada

    2011 season

    • 20th April  2011  - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 12th June  2010  - tree owned by David in Mt Shasta, United States
    • 12th May  2010  - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 24th May  2009  - tree owned by David in Mt Shasta, United States

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


    Harvest records for this variety

    2022 season

    • 3rd week September  2022  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

    2021 season

    • 4th week September  2021  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

    2019 season

    • 4th week September  2019  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

    2016 season

    • September  2016  - tree owned by Lois in New Westminster, Canada

    2011 season

    • 1st week September  2011  - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 2nd week September  2010  - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week September  2009  - tree owned by David in Mt Shasta, United States

    Origins

    • Species: Malus domestica
    • Parentage: Unknown
    • Introduced: Early 1800s

    Using

    • Picking season: Late
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
    • Flavor style (apples): Sharper
    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Discoloration of fruit: No discoloration (Good for drying)

    Growing

    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Ploidy: Triploid
    • Bearing regularity: Regular

    Climate

    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Hot (>30C / 86F)

    Identification

    • Country of origin: United States
    • Period of origin: 1800 - 1849
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Fruit colour: Orange flush

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer King of Tompkins County apple trees for sale:

    • Cummins Nursery
      United States  More >>

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow King of Tompkins County:

    United States


    Canada


    Australia




    References



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