Newtown Pippin apple
Newtown Pippin is one of the oldest American apple varieties, being well-known in the 18th century and probably raised as a seedling by early settlers on Long Island. To get a sense of how unusually old it is, it was introduced from the USA to England in the mid 1750s - making it an old variety even by English standards. Newtown Pippin was popularised by such well-known figures such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and was very much an apple of its time. It is also often called Albemarle Pippin.
By the 19th century Newtown Pippins were an important commercial variety in the USA, both for domestic use and exported in large quantities to London markets, where the Victorian author Hogg commented on their arrival in January each year. The appreciation of the flavors of apples reached a peak in Victorian England, and the popularity of Newtown Pippins in Victorian England is a sure sign that this is very high quality apple with the rich aromatic flavor most sought after at that time. Hogg also commented that the Newtown Pippin could not be grown successfully in England - it needs a hot summer and autumn, and will not ripen properly most years in the cool temperate climate of England.
Newtown Pippin is best regarded as a "winter" apple. It is picked quite late in the season - late October in the eastern USA. It is hard and unappetising if eaten straight from the tree, instead it should be stored for 1-2 months, before being used over the winter period. Newtown Pippin is a notably versatile apple, being excellent for eating fresh, cooking, and for juicing and hard cider. When cooked Newtown Pippin retains some of its shape, and produces a textured puree with a very good rich flavor - definitely a very high quality culinary apple.
It was noticed by the 19th century that there are two variants or "sports" of Newtown Pippin - green and yellow. Many apple varieties have produced sports, and growers often favour the more highly colored ones for further development. However green and yellow Newtown Pippins are not easily distinguished, they are both a greenish-yellow color depending on the location and exposure to sunlight - neither of them is particularly attractive by modern standards. It is thought that the green version might be the original with the yellow being the sport.
Newtown Pippin remains a popular garden apple in the United States. It is not without its difficulties - it takes many years to start bearing apples even on dwarfing precocious rootstocks, and it is susceptible to most of the usual apple diseases, as well as having a tendency to become a biennial-bearer if allowed to over-crop. However its natural vigour usually helps it to overcome these difficulties and its great versatility and excellent flavor make it a worthwhile addition to the home orchard.
Newtown Pippin apple identification images
All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.
USDA identification images for Newtown Pippin
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.
- 01 May 2023 JenniferWhere can they be found. I live in Delaware
- 16 Apr 2023 Juliet CalandrraWhen our children were small, we would take them to Old Wagon Farm in Holmdel, NJ to enjoy the festivities and to buy my Pippins for pie. YUM !
- 01 Oct 2022 Freddie yNewtown Pippins are one of the best apples I've ever tasted -- and I'm an old man, I've tasted quite a few. Wonderful complex flavor, tart and sweet, decent texture -- hard to explain why this apple is so good but it is. Oddly enough, I just read about its history and discovered that it's named for a 17th or 18th century farm which was located three miles away from where I live.
- 20 Feb 2022 Becky MccahanGA, United StatesI am in Georgia and just purchased my first Newtown Pippin. I need recommendations on a pollinator! Zone 7b
- 08 Oct 2018 Pam OkanoWA, United StatesIt is getting harder and harder to find Newtown Pippins. They used to be readily available in grocery stores in Seattle, but no longer. For me, they were a favorite for eating out of hand and also for pies. Now I can get them only at the farmers' market and only if a freeze didn't occur.
- 16 Sep 2016 JessicaNY, United StatesEven though this apple variety is supposed to be a native New Yorker, one of the only places I can find it is at the Samascott Orchards stand at the Friday Union Square Farmer's Market. I gave a twenty minute talk on apples and this was people's favorite: crisp with a great balance of tart and sweet. This is a complex apple and it doesn't surprise me that Thomas Jefferson wrote back from France raving about these.
- 06 Nov 2015 Erin BranchUTAH, United StatesUpdate: Something about this apple seemed very familiar to me, and finally, after trying several more, I realized that it tasted just like the green apple flavored Jolly Ranchers. Yum! Just the right combination of sweet and tart, along with the flavor profile is spot on of what I remember of the green apple flavored Jolly Rancher candies.
- 03 Nov 2015 Erin BranchUTAH, United StatesVery nice clean apple aroma. The flesh is crisp and juicy, mildly-moderately sweet and tart, and has a very pleasant and appealing flavor complex that is hard to describe but easy to enjoy. I imagine the Pippin would be great in baking, juicing, and fresh eating. Has a nice skin color. The flesh does have a tendency to brown quickly, but doesn't affect the quality of the apple.
- 19 Oct 2014 Paul GerrishMA, United StatesTwo trees planted Spring 2014. These trees have grown from 3 feet at planting to almost 7 feet this season. I like the idea of having old and new varieties!
- 16 Sep 2014 SpidraCALIFORNIA, United StatesI have yet to taste a better apple. Tight crisp flesh, tart with just the right amount of sweet, and an wine-like complex flavor profile. I grow this in LA, where people say you can't grow it. And since my tree's in a pot (I don't have my own land), I make the pilgrimage to Oak Glen, CA to buy more Newtown Pippins because I can't produce enough for my taste! I really like Cuyama Orchards' "Pink Lady" apples so I look forward to tracking down their Newtown Pippins if they grow that variety as well.
- 06 Sep 2014 JulieCALIFORNIA, United StatesJust to underscore how special and flavorful Pippins are, Martinelli's Cider is based here in Santa Cruz County and they have always paid extra for Pippins. I am trying top keep my 20 acres or so of Pippins going but losing trees this year to drought. I think Pippins are the best apples ever.
- 24 Dec 2013 Lloyd AlbanoLLOYD.ALBANO@YAHOO.COM, AustraliaMy family's Cuyama Orchards has five acres of fabulous Newtown Pippins that I and my colleague Phillip are selling in our farmer's markets here in So Cal. Mar Vista, Temecula, Pasadena, Coronado, Torrance.
- 06 Sep 2013 BrianaIL, United StatesI bought my apple tree eight years ago believing I had purchased a Winesap. Many years later when it began to produce fruit, we had these curious green apples with lots of russet (a little ugly) but fabulous flavor. Thanks to your detailed description, I think we have a Pippin. Before tasting, I was upset to have waited so long for Winesap apples and get these. Now that it is really producing, we may have ended up with a better tree in the end. Thank you!
- 26 Jan 2013 EdWASHINGTON, United StatesVery good tasting apple - gets better as you chew it. Seems like there was an immediate rush of sweet, and then a minor flood of tartness. I anticipate that this will make a great cider and pie apple.
- 05 Sep 2012 Susan DabneyMARYLAND, United StatesAlbemarle Pippin, a difficult tree in Maryland but a crisp, nutty, silvery dream of my childhood, can be bought at Rural Ridge Orchard, 2545 Rural Ridge Lane, North Garden, VA 22959, is located on U.S. Route 29, just south of Charlottesville, Virginia, about 8/10 miles north of State Route 692. From Charlottesville, proceed exactly 8 miles south from I-64 and turn right onto Rural Ridge Lane. Tom Burford sold my father two 17 years ago and we get very poor fruit but the kaolin clay sold as Surround does help, plus careful pruning.
- 29 Mar 2012 Timothy FinkWV, United StatesWithout a doubt one of the best cider, desert, pie apples every grown. Of all of my fruit trees my Newton Pippin gets the most love and produces the best apples.
- 12 Nov 2011 TerryVANCOUVER ISLAND, CanadaI'm looking for a good reason to keep this tree in my orchard. I've had it for 18 years and the fruit has never ripened, even when picked late and stored until March. We're at the 50th parallel and tend to get cool summers and autumns on the coast. Even the local bear spit the apples out. It is, however, a handsome tree and a good climber. If I replace the tree with another pippin, what would a good variety be for the cool, wet, North?
- 15 Nov 2010 Gary HansenCALIFORNIA, United StatesI have a single Newton Pippin apple tree that I planted 20 years ago. Every year a larger proportion of the fruit is infested with Apple Worm. I have sought and taken advise from nurseries and growers but none of their suggestions have deterred the little guys. Help!
- 23 Oct 2010 JulieVA, United StatesI grew up in California eating juicy pippin apples fresh and in my mother's pies. It is the best pie apple and I'm on the hunt for a source. I live in Virginia now. Any help? Thanks. An aside - I have many fond memories of the Pleasanton County Fair.
- 06 Feb 2010 ChalaineCA, United StatesNear Mountain View, California? You are in luck. The Milk Pail store/fruit market (2585 California Street in MTV) has an incredible variety of apples. I've been trying something of everything and am currently hooked on Pippins. I've never before lived near a store like this and had no idea there were so many varieties of apples. Many of the apples are organic and many grown locally. Prices are great too! I just sampled my first Spitzenberg. They have a little website - www.milkpail.com.
- 04 Nov 2009 Nicole BeaumontPLEASANTON, United StatesI was just searching for where I can find pippen apples. Interesting to find a fellow Pleasantonian, lol. Pippens make the BEST pies. Any tips on where I can buy some?
- 17 Oct 2009 Rob DrewPLEASANTON, ALAMEDA/CALIFORNIA, United StatesAlways liked Newton Pippins as a kid - fresh or in pies. Planted one here in inland from San Francisco a few years back. It was slow to bear, but now delivers crisp, delicious apples yearly. We pick in late September.
- 08 Nov 2008 Edna M. BerginesLANCASTER, LOS ANGELES, CA, United StatesIt was so difficult to find Pippin apples and this year has proven that I cannot find them anywhere. Could you please tell me where within a 50 mile radius I could purchasee them, or can I order them from this site.
- 25 Oct 2008 MaryELKHART, ELKHART, INDIANA, United Statesi grew up with eating this apple. it went out of favor in the mid 70's, and i couldn't find it again. i have found it, and now trying to buy a tree for my back yard. i never want to be with out this apple. it makes the best pies, and just to eat it is heaven. nothing bets a newtown pippin
- 24 Sep 2008 MaryBOSTON, United StatesAs an apple fanatic, I am very happy to say it is a favorite of mine. I first tasted it in New York City (Many farmers from farther north sell their wares in Union Square on weekends) and the lady in the booth told me to wait a week or two before trying to eat it (she told me that it needs to "stew" before it attains full flavor.) I did so, and all I can say is WOW-nice and lively taste! It is a bit tart, but I cut it up and used it in a pie and the only thing I can say to UK readers is if you should come across this in a grower's catalogue or just as an available fruit, NAB IT! It may russet a little sometimes but it tastes lovely, and I am told has few pests (this variety would do nicely roasted over a bonfire come November 5th!)
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Spring blossom records for this variety
- 4th May 2021 - tree owned by Milovan in Ellington, United States
- 30th March 2020 - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
- 14th April 2019 - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
- 14th April 2018 - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States
- April 2018 - tree owned by Mary in Denver, United States
- 31st March 2018 - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
- 26th March 2017 - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
- 15th March 2016 - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
- 13th May 2015 - tree owned by Jeffrey in Saginaw, United States
- 20th March 2015 - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
- 15th May 2011 - tree owned by Anne in Lyme, United States
- May 2010 - tree owned by Anne in Lyme, United States
- May 2009 - tree owned by Anne in Lyme, United States
Harvest records for this variety
- 1st week December 2018 - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
- 1st week November 2018 - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States
- September 2018 - tree owned by Mary in Denver, United States
- 3rd week November 2017 - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
- October 2015 - tree owned by Roger in Madison Heights, United States
- October 2011 - tree owned by Anne in Lyme, United States
- October 2010 - tree owned by Anne in Lyme, United States
- Species: Malus domestica - Apple
- Parentage: Unknown
- Originates from: Newtown, Long Island, United States
- Introduced: mid 18th century
- UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1963-025
- Country of origin: United States
- Period of origin: 1750 - 1799
- Leaf colour: Green
- Popularity: Best sellers
- Annual cycle: Deciduous
- Awards: Slow Food - Ark of Taste
- Picking season: Late
- Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more
- Flavour quality: Very good
- Flavour style (apples): Aromatic
- Cooking result: Textured puree
- Discoloration of fruit: Oxidising
- Cropping: Heavy
- Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
- Food uses: Eating fresh
- Food uses: Culinary
- Food uses: Juice
- Food uses: Hard cider
- Food uses: Traditional cooker
- Picking period: early October
- Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators
- Gardening skill: Average
- Flowering group: 3
- Pollinating others: Average
- Ploidy: Diploid
- Vigour: Vigorous
- Precocity: Slow to start bearing
- Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency
- Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
- Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
- Cold hardiness (USDA): (4) -30F / -34C
- Chill requirement: Low-chill
- Climate suitability: Temperate climates
- Climate suitability: Warm climates
- Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
- Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
- Disease resistance: Average
- Canker: Some susceptibility
- Scab (Apple and Pear): Some susceptibility
- Powdery mildew: Some susceptibility
- Bitter pit: Some susceptibility
- Fire blight: Some susceptibility
Where to buy trees
The following tree nurseries offer Newtown Pippin apple trees for sale:
- Orange Pippin Fruit Trees (USA) United States
Newtown Pippin apple trees
- Thomas Fruit Trees (EU) France
Newtown Pippin apple trees
- Cummins Nursery
United States More >>
Where to buy fresh fruit
The following orchards grow Newtown Pippin:
- Beatty's Orchard, Hereford
- Freedom Farms - Apple & Peach Orchard, Chatsworth
- Doud's Countyline Orchard, Wabash
- Tiny Orchards, Saco
- Alber's Orchard & Cider Mill, Manchester
- Two Fruit's Fruits, Hinckley
- Creasman Farms, Hendersonville
- Holy Root Farm, New Tripoli
- Door Creek Orchard, Cottage Grove
- O'Keefe Grange, Dobbinton
- Apples for the 21st Century
Listed as Newtown
- Apples of England (1948)
- Some Antique Apples for Modern Orchards, (2008)
Author: Merwin I.A.