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King David apple tree

King David

King David is a handsome southern apple. The flushed orange skin, reminscent of Jonathan, one of its probable parents, becomes much darker as the season progresses.

The apples hang on the tree almost to winter, and are at their best for eating at this point. Unusually for such a late variety it is not a particularly long keeper.

King David apple trees for sale

  • 1Medium 1-year bare-root tree $33.75
    Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
    G.214, G.222 rootstock
  • 2Large 1-year bare-root tree $33.75
    Mature height: 10ft-16ft after 10 years
    MM.111 rootstock

How to grow

King David is a vigorous tree, with good disease resistance, particularly to fireblight.

Bitter pit can be a problem in younger trees, this is sometimes caused by over-feeding (particularly of nitrogen).

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

Historical details

Found growing in a hedgerow in Washington County, Arkansas in 1893. Subsequently introduced by the famous Stark Brothers nursery.

The parentage of King David is not certain, but most authorities agree it is probably a seedling of Jonathan, pollinated either by Winesap or Arkansas Black (which is itself thought to be descended from Winesap).

King David characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group3
  • Pollinating othersPoor
  • PloidyDiploid
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Picking seasonVery late
  • UsesEating freshCulinaryJuiceHard cider
  • CroppingHeavy
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-2 months
  • Flavor style (apples)Sweet/Sharp
  • General resistanceGood
  • FireblightVery resistant
  • ScabSome resistance
  • Cedar apple rustSome resistance
  • Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)Hot (>30C / 86F)
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1850 - 1899
  • Fruit colorCrimson