The Newtown Pippin apple, native to what is now the borough of Queens in the City of New York, is an heirloom noted for the quality of the fresh and fermented cider it yields, its superior baking qualities, its excellence as out-of-hand eating apple, and its ability to mellow and improve in flavor with storage.
The Green Newtown Pippin—a chance apple that sprouted from a random apple seed, or pip, (hence the surname pippin) was first harvested in 1730 on the farm of Gershom Moore in Newtown, Queens County (now the Elmhurst section of the present-day Borough of Queens, part of New York City). From there it spread to Albemarle County, Virginia where it came to be known as the Albemarle Pippin due to the regional economic jingoism occurring at the time. It was a favorite of several founding fathers including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson who grew them at Monticello. Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote from Paris, "they have no apples here to compare with our Newtown Pippin." During the 19th century, the Newtown Pippin experienced significant commercial success. It was part of the Select List of Apples kept by the Horticultural Society of London in 1807 and commanded the highest prices at Covent Garden. Queen Victoria so favored them that the British Parliament lifted the import duty on Newtown Pippins until World War I at which time Parliament renewed the import duty on the Newtown Pippin.
Newtown is a reportedly self-fertile variety that also serves as a pollinizer for other apple trees. This heirloom is a late-harvested, medium-large, flattish round, green-skinned, yellow-tinged, slightly russetted apple with a remarkably balanced tart/sweet flavor and an aroma often described as piney.
The tree is a reliable, vigorous, early bearer. Newtown pippin is susceptible to apple scab, moderately susceptible to all other diseases. Hardy to USDA zone 4.