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King David apple tree

King David
King David is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
A popular Arkansas variety with a rich southern flavor.

King David apple trees for sale

  • 1Small 1-year bare-root tree $35.95
    Mature height: 6ft-9ft after 10 years
    Dwarf rootstock
    Out of stock
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  • 2Medium 1-year bare-root tree $35.95
    Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
    Semi-dwarf rootstock
    Out of stock
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  • 3Large 1-year bare-root tree $35.95
    Mature height: 10ft-16ft after 10 years
    B.118 rootstock
    Out of stock
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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.

How to grow

King David is a vigorous tree, with good disease resistance, including reasonable resistance to fireblight. It is suitable for both cold and warm zones, and one of the easiest varieties for the backyard orchard.

Bitter pit can be a problem in younger trees, this is sometimes caused by over-feeding (particularly of nitrogen). It is also important to thin the fruitlets in late spring, this helps ensure the remaining fruits achieve a good size, and also prevents the tree lapsing into bearing only in alternate years.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

King David was found growing in a hedgerow in Washington County, Arkansas in 1893. It was subsequently introduced for sale 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
  • WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators
  • 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
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(4) -30F / -34C(5) -20F / -29C(6) -10F / -23C(7) 0F / -18C(8) 10F / -12C
  • 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