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 apple identification images
All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.
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.
- 18 Feb 2022 LaurencelanceThese 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 LizWA, United StatesWas quite sure our apples are Tompkins King. However, they are ready in August. Other descriptors match. What do you think?
- 21 Jan 2018 Michael NeukirchenOREGON, United StatesI 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 Lois RightmyerBRITISH COLUMBIA, CanadaI 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 Ann WilderWA, United StatesI'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 Tom SingletonWA, United StatesI 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 Gord BairdBC, CanadaThe 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 Ross ParadiseDERBYSHIRE, United KingdomI 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 Jeanette WeaverWA, United StatesMy 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 Joan HansenBC, CanadaI believe my apple tree is a King. It ripens late (mid Oct) - tastes great as a dessert apple and cooks very well.
- Albany Appleguy in Castleton, NY
- Aurie Bradley in Kensington, CA
- Axel Kratel in Santa Cruz, CALIFORNIA
- Ben in Helenwood, TN
- Chris in Kennewick, WA
- Christine Mermilliod in Corbett, OR
- Dan Spratlen in Camano Island, WASHINGTON / USA
- David A Dawson in Solsberry, INDIANA
- David Gilmore in Mt Shasta, CA
- George Brereton in Woodland, WASHINGTON
- Gina Colver in EPHRATA, WASHINGTON
- J. Blue in Elmira, OR
- James Dierberger in Hebron, CT
- Jim Gana in Hallstead, PA
- Jim Wodehouse in LLANO, NEW MEXICO
- John Horrell in Petaluma, CALIFORNIA
- Jon Shannon in Shaw Island, WA
- Larry Landis in CORVALLIS, OREGON
- Lewin in BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
- Liz in Everett, WA
- Mark A. Rock in Columbia Station, OHIO
- Michael Dryfoos in EDGEWOOD, WA
- Mike Haller in SIOUX CITY, IOWA
- Nathan Parker in Mount Shasta, CA
- Neyssa Hays in YAMHILL, OREGON
- Rick Simoniello in Storrs / Mansfield, CT
- Ryan Grover in Vineyard, UTAH
- Scott in PORT TOWNSEND, WASHINGTON
- Steve Bean in Kaysville, UTAH
- Steven Sypkens in Turney, MO
- Thomas Griffith in Cottage Grove, WI
- Jan Church in Winchester, HANTS
- Cheuk A Lam in Amsterdam, NOORD-HOLLAND
- Hayden in Winslow, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
Spring blossom records for this variety
- 12th May 2022 - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
- 5th May 2021 - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
- 21st May 2020 - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
- 8th May 2019 - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
- 18th May 2018 - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
- May 2016 - tree owned by Lois in New Westminster, Canada
- 6th April 2016 - tree owned by Chris in Kennewick, United States
- April 2015 - tree owned by J. in Elmira, United States
- 5th May 2012 - tree owned by Joan in Tsawwassen, Canada
- 20th April 2011 - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom
- 12th June 2010 - tree owned by David in Mt Shasta, United States
- 12th May 2010 - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom
- 24th May 2009 - tree owned by David in Mt Shasta, United States
Harvest records for this variety
- 4th week September 2022 - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
- 4th week September 2021 - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
- 4th week September 2019 - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
- September 2016 - tree owned by Lois in New Westminster, Canada
- 1st week September 2011 - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom
- 2nd week September 2010 - tree owned by Jan in Winchester, United Kingdom
- Species: Malus domestica - Apple
- Parentage: Unknown
- Originates from: New Jersey, New York, United States
- Introduced: Early 1800s
- UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1957-219
- We are grateful to Brogdale Farm - home of the UK National Fruit Collection - for providing samples of this variety.
- Country of origin: United States
- Period of origin: 1800 - 1849
- Fruit colour: Orange flush
- Leaf colour: Green
- Popularity: Best sellers
- Annual cycle: Deciduous
- Picking season: Late
- Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
- Flavour quality: Very good
- Flavour style (apples): Sharper
- Discoloration of fruit: No discoloration (Good for drying)
- Cropping: Heavy
- Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
- Food uses: Culinary
- Food uses: Juice
- Picking period: mid-October
- Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators
- Gardening skill: Average
- Flowering group: 3
- Pollinating others: Poor
- Ploidy: Triploid
- Vigour: Vigorous
- Bearing regularity: Regular
- Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
- Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
- Climate suitability: Temperate climates
- 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)
Where to buy trees
The following tree nurseries offer King of Tompkins County apple trees for sale:
- Orange Pippin Fruit Trees (USA) United States
King of Tompkins County apple trees
- Cummins Nursery
United States More >>
Where to buy fresh fruit
The following orchards grow King of Tompkins County:
- Arroyo Community Garden, Petaluma
- Masonville Orchard, Fort Collins
- Seek No Further Orchard, Hebron
- Wilson's Orchard, Iowa City
- Eden Acres Family Farm, East Waterboro
- Old Ciderpress Farm, Westmoreland
- Black Diamond Farm, Trumansburg
- Big Horse Creek Farm, Lansing
- Door Creek Orchard, Cottage Grove
- Heritage Fruits Society, Fairfield
- Apples of England (1948)
- Some Antique Apples for Modern Orchards, (2008)
Author: Merwin I.A.