go home  go home “ As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons”
Song of Solomon 2:3
New York Orchards
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 New York Apple Association

New York Apple Orchards
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To realize the importance of New York in the history of the American apple industry, one can reflect on the number of apple varieties named after locations in the state. The Newtown Pippin was discovered near, and named for, Newtown, Long Island, situated in what is now Queens. Tompkins King is named for the county in New York, as is Strawberry Chenango, although neither originated in their namesakes. Less well known today are Fishkill, Red Hook, Ogdensburgh, Seneca Favorite, Suffolk Beauty, Washington Strawberry, Geneva Pippin, and Long Island Russet. All were named for locations in New York. Then think of the important varieties discovered or developed in the state. Newtown Pippin was at one time arguably the most widely grown and popular apple in the country, and played a critical role in the development of commercial orchards in Virginia and California, as well as opening European markets to American agricultural products. Jonathon was discovered near Woodstock. Northern Spy is from near Canandaigua. Spitzenburg, reported to have been Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple, was discovered in Ulster county. Bailey Sweet, an excellent dessert apple that has fallen in to obscurity, is from Wyoming county. Cortland, Empire and Macoun are but three of the hundreds of more recent introductions from New York.

Today there are approximately 700 growers in the state, mostly along the Lake Ontario shore and in the Hudson River valley, although you can still find an orchard in almost every county outside of the five boroughs. The original Newtown Pippin tree no longer stands in Queens. It died around 1805.

The Planting of the Apple-tree

COME, let us plant the apple-tree.
Cleave the tough greensward with the spade;
Wide let its hollow bed be made;
There gently lay the roots, and there
Sift the dark mould with kindly care,
And press it o'er them tenderly,
As, round the sleeping infant's feet,
We softly fold the cradle sheet;
So plant we the apple-tree.

What plant we in this apple-tree?
Buds, which the breath of summer days
Shall lengthen into leafy sprays;
Boughs where the thrush, with crimson breast,
Shall haunt and sing and hide her nest;
We plant, upon the sunny lea,
A shadow for the noontide hour,
A shelter from the summer shower,
When we plant the apple-tree.

What plant we in this apple-tree?
Sweets for a hundred flowery springs
To load the May-wind's restless wings,
When, from the orchard row, he pours
Its fragrance through our open doors;
A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl's silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
We plant with the apple-tree.

What plant we in this apple-tree!
Fruits that shall swell in sunny June,
And redden in the August noon,
And drop, when gentle airs come by,
That fan the blue September sky,
While children come, with cries of glee,
And seek them where the fragrant grass
Betrays their bed to those who pass,
At the foot of the apple-tree.

And when, above this apple-tree,
The winter stars are quivering bright,
And winds go howling through the night,
Girls, whose young eyes o'erflow with mirth,
Shall peel its fruit by cottage-hearth,
And guests in prouder homes shall see,
Heaped with the grape of Cintra's vine
And golden orange of the line,
The fruit of the apple-tree.

The fruitage of this apple-tree
Winds and our flag of stripe and star
Shall bear to coasts that lie afar,
Where men shall wonder at the view,
And ask in what fair groves they grew;
And sojourners beyond the sea
Shall think of childhood's careless day
And long, long hours of summer play,
In the shade of the apple-tree.

William Cullen Bryant.

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