the Tull Apple

August 30, 2008

A friend of mine has assumed the task of restoring an apple that was once a staple in the small community where he grew up. Though there are many stories of this apple, my friend says he has traced it back to 1790 when it came to the US. It supposedly originated in France.

The tree has a habit of developing a split to three main trunks about 1 to 3 ft from the ground and is easy to recognize, reaching a height of 15 to 18 feet. The variety had almost died out in favor of more modern apples. But the Tull is usually grown on its own roots and has almost blemish free apples without any spraying. It is very tart and is usually picked green about 2 weeks before it ripens; mid August for central Arkansas. There is no better apple pie than that made with firm, tart Tull apples. When ripe it turns a light yellow with some reddish streaks.

I talked my friend into giving me one today for a photo. then I ate it. Does anyone know this apple by a different name? The no spray Tull Apple .....


Comments (6)

  • applenut_gw

    Bingo! Tull is listed in the "extinct" section of C. Lee Calhoun's "Old Southern Apples book".

    "Originated before 1868 on the farm of Abram Tull, Grant County, Arkansas. Root sprouts were dug from the original tree, and several small orchards were established by neighbors. Apples were sold from these orchards for years in Little Rock before the trees were grafted adn sold by nurseries. The Tull is healthy, well adapted to southern growing conditions, blooms late and carries its foilage late into the fall. THe fruit hangs well on the tree, often into November, and is free from rot.

    Fruit medium to above, roundish, flattened on the ends, skin greenish with red striped becoming mostly red when ripe, resembling Ralls Janet; dots numerous, white; stem medium length in a greenish cavity; calyx closed; basin gradually sloped; flesh yellow, firm, juicy crisp, subacid. Ripe October-March. Catalog listings; AL, TN, AR (1898-1920)

    I'd like to get scionwood to propagate it and save it, and Lee will probably want some to for the Heritage orchard in North Carolina.


  • lctull

    My name is Tull. The Tull Apple was brought to Arkansas from Tennessee. There was also some Tull's in Saline County. I do believe Abram Tull may have ended up in Saline County in Tull, Arkansas. This is my Tull Apple from a sprig given to me by a cousin.

  • Kyran Pittman

    My sons are descendants of Abram/Abraham Tull. I would love to have a cutting.

  • pls8xx

    Message me with your contact info and I will see if there is a rooted start available for you.

  • Kyran Pittman

    Thank you! I can't figure out how to message here, but my email is kyranp at gmail

  • mingoman64

    I have a orchard near McDougal that I am trying to preserve as many of the old Arkansas apples as I can. I would love to add tull. I can graft my own so a cutting this Feb or a root sprout would be wonderful.

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