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A Stark Bro's Exclusive!

Deep crimson, almost-black fruit! Compact, upright tree yields fruit on spurs all down the limbs. Firm and crisp apples are perfect for baking and apple butter. Juices well, adding complex notes to homemade cider. Flavor improves after 30 days in the refrigerator. Originates from Long Creek, South Carolina in 1983. Keeps for up to eight months in proper storage. Cold-hardy. Some resistance to scab and fire blight; very resistant to rust. Ripens in October. Best organic pollinators: Royal Empire™ or Whitney Crabapple. Best non-organic pollinators: Stark® Jon-A-Red® Jonathan, Starkspur® Golden Delicious, or Starkspur® Red Rome Beauty. (Lonacre cv.)


Bloom Color White
Fruit Color Red
Fruit Size Medium - Large
Ripens/Harvest October
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Tart
Texture Very Firm
Years to Bear 2 - 5
Zone Range 4 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 4 - 8
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

When your tree matures, it will be approximately 12 - 15' tall x 12 - 15' wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these trees 12 - 15' apart to ensure room for growth.


This variety requires another one for adequate pollination.

Cross-pollination by a different variety is key to its growing and bearing success. Plant one of these varieties within 50' for best pollination.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow apple trees in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Shipping Information

Estimated Delivery Date

You don't pay until it ships.

We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location. That's why we only ship living products during certain times of the year. Order now and your credit card won't be charged until your climate is suitable for planting success and your order is shipped.

Our Promise of Satisfaction

1 Year Warranty

Every order comes with our promise of satisfaction. If you aren't completely satisfied with your order, let us know within one year for a free one-time replacement or refund.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 18 questions Browse 18 questions and 78 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
Long keeping ability ..... Baking & cider .... Originated in SC close to my GA location so should grow well in my climate ...
GARY M on Oct 18, 2019
I love these apples. They really store well. Stark Bros is the most trusted name in fruit trees.
Darrell S on Oct 15, 2019
Long keeping ability ..... Baking & cider .... Originated in SC close to my GA location so should grow well in my climate ...
GARY M on Oct 18, 2019
best for pest free for my region
MARY L on Oct 15, 2019
I love these apples. They really store well. Stark Bros is the most trusted name in fruit trees.
Darrell S on Oct 15, 2019
Tart apple with more disease resistance than a granny smith. Plus spur-bearing for espalier.
Wayne S on Jun 12, 2019
Dad wanted it for Father's Day
Ashley S on Jun 4, 2019
Our daughter's favorite apple.
Judith L on May 27, 2019
I am curious about the flavor and wanted to bring a new variety to my area, since I have not seen these around before.
Eddie H on May 24, 2019
An old favorite.
Gary W on May 22, 2019
to espalier
Catherine L on May 20, 2019
I purchased two before and they have done well here in central Pa.
ELDON N on May 9, 2019
We chose this variety for the long storage ability. This will also mix beautifully with our other apple varieties for some wonderful cider!!
Amanda J on May 6, 2019
heirloom apples are more fun to grow
Arthur P on May 2, 2019
learned about it in Sedona and was enchanted by the story.
KATHLEEN S on Apr 14, 2019
Starkspur production
LAWRENCE M on Apr 9, 2019
Starting a cider orchard
Todd G on Apr 4, 2019
Good storage, ripening time, cold hardy
Moriah L on Feb 4, 2019
good storage
Deborah B on Jan 12, 2019
One of my favorite apple varieties, and it grows well in our hot, humid climate.
Marleigh M on Jan 11, 2019
recommended for my zone 7b
Geoffrey G on Dec 11, 2018
Uses and long storage.
SHARON F on Sep 30, 2018
My favorite apple.
Josephine G on Sep 28, 2018
Great keeper
SHARON Y on May 18, 2018
I had one before/ great apples
Williiam P on Apr 29, 2018
This will be our 2nd tree, the apples stay firm all winter and set their sugar after frost.
TIMOTHY J on Apr 5, 2018
Wanted a later apple and a better keeper.
Peg F on Oct 9, 2017
I planted a new community orchard and the people who contributed wanted a variety. I chose to plant apples that would be hard to find in stores.
DERYK W on Sep 11, 2017
It is a late producer, long keeper and a tart, crisp apple
Judith A on Apr 24, 2017
This is my favorite apple. Had a tree years ago. I like that they store well and get sweeter as they age.
Mast on Apr 21, 2017
Intrigued by what I read about this apple, and I live in Arkansas. County agent told me it is his favorite apple.
drscot on Mar 4, 2017
Add to a blend of Hard Cider
Shane P on Jan 29, 2017
Best apple pie ever!
Chris R on Dec 11, 2016
Keeps for a long time. Can only eat so much fruit at once.
James L on Nov 21, 2016
I had tree and it is so old. Good producer until last few years.
Frances C on Nov 7, 2016
I have eaten them before and loved them - unlike any other apple. I am hoping to successfully grow them now.
Marjorie K on Oct 27, 2016
I wanted a solid late holding apple.
Stan C on Oct 15, 2016
They taste good and keep all winter (into summer if refrigerated).
EUNICE W on Sep 6, 2016
loved an apple tree in the neighborhood but they cut it down. so i went looking online and Arkansas Black looked just like it.
Brian C on Sep 4, 2016
Heard lots of good things about this old southern apple variety and being that we live in the south we thought it would be a wonderful asset to our farm.
ELIZABETH S on Jun 4, 2016
I have many apple trees, but this apple has the best taste by far
Dennis C on May 15, 2016
Looking for more heirloom varieties, and I am familiar with this one.
Marshall T on Apr 3, 2016
We have a very old Arkansas Black in our yard (we live on the edge of an old orchard that is about 100 years old). These are the best apples I've had for pies, storage, etc.
GENEVIEVE O on Apr 3, 2016
Need a late apple that stores well, and I'm intrigued by the color and texture.
Duane on Mar 29, 2016
I was looking for a hardy tree.
Teresa D on Mar 25, 2016
Other friends in Edmond have had good success with Arkansas Black Apple.
GLORIA M on Mar 11, 2016
I tried this once at an apple farm and really liked the taste.
Katie M on Mar 4, 2016
Makes good apple butter.
Edward W on Feb 25, 2016
best for pest free for my region
MARY L on Oct 15, 2019
Tart apple with more disease resistance than a granny smith. Plus spur-bearing for espalier.
Wayne S on Jun 12, 2019
Will Arkansas Black, Jonastar & Granny Smith apple trees cross pollinate one another?
Mark D on Mar 19, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Arkansas Black blooms mid/late-season; Jonastar blooms mid-season and Granny Smith blooms mid-season. It they're planted within 50' of one another, you should get pretty satisfactory cross-pollination.
Will a candycrisp apple pollinate this one?
Nathan H on Mar 29, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it will. They have similar bloom times.
I am planning to grow this tree organically. Does it have good resistance to disease problems in Missouri Ozarks?
kristikat on Jan 5, 2018
BEST ANSWER: According to the Missouri Botanical Garden: "The four major disease problems of apples are fire blight, powdery mildew, apple scab and cedar apple rust. Potential insect pests include aphids, maggots, codling moth, plum curculio and spider mites. This cultivar is reported to have much improved disease resistance [over the original Arkansas Black variety]." I hope that answers your question.
Are these good for apple butter?
Don G on Oct 18, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Hi Don, My Starkspur Arkansas Black Apple is being grown for Apple Cider. The tree has only been in the ground for a year so I have not gotten any fruit yet. We have 5 varieties of Apple that are being specifically grown for combinations to make ciders. My hope is year 5 I'll have our 1st cider.
How long does it take to produce apples ?
Tbassman on Oct 12, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Hi Tony, It can take approximately 2-5 years for the Arkansas Black apple to bear fruit. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us, remember that we're here for you. Have a great day!
Will a Chestnut Crabapple pollinate an Arkansas Black?
Marie W on Aug 28, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it will.
My trees have already produced lots of apples. When do I harvest them? I think they are Arkansas black and the limbs are loaded. It???s only August.
Stacy H on Jul 30, 2019
BEST ANSWER: If summer started early where you are (as it did in many parts of the country this year), your apple harvest may come sooner than usual. Even though the apples may appear ripe (some varieties, like this one, color early), they still take a while to ripen on the tree. Cut one open; if the seeds are dark brown, the apple is ripe. It will probably be a while yet.
Is the Starkspur Arkansas black apple tree considered a dwarf?
Dick L P on Jul 20, 2019
BEST ANSWER: It generally grows to be somewhere between a dwarf and a semi-dwarf, but you can keep it as small as you like. It's a wonderful tree and a very prolific producer.
Will the Liberty and Starkspur?? Arkansas Black Apple cross pollinate each other?
Mark M on Mar 9, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I'm sorry, no: Liberty is an early bloomer and Arkansas Black is quite late.
What color is the flesh of the Arkansas Black? My NC mountain neighbors have an old apple tree, unknown variety, that bears smallish apples, with a Snow White flesh, and pink capillary blushing from the skin barely into the flesh. Local orchardists have thought it was an Ark, Black, another thinks it is a Cortland. But it is way too tart to be a Cortland. Any ideas? Flesh color???
Karen O on Oct 15, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Hi Karen, Thank you for your question. The Arkansas Black apple is a very late season apple with a white to cream, pale yellow flesh. In zone 5, this apple ripens in October. Cortlands ripen early in September. I hope this information is helpful.
Will a red delicious or Fuji pollinate an Arkansas Black?
Tom M on Aug 22, 2018
BEST ANSWER: They are all in the same flowering group and will each pollinate the other.
we have had an arkansas for over 20 yrs wantto add another do we need any other type to pollinate the new tree?
Charles B on Apr 14, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Whatever has been pollinating your older Arkansas Black will do the same thing for your new one.
what is the chill requirement for the Arkansas black apple?
Desiree on May 11, 2017
BEST ANSWER: This tree requires about 800-900 chill hours.
I am ordering the Arkansas Black - my question is would a Winesap work as a cross pollinateor?
Connie K on Jan 26, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Winesap apple trees cannot pollinate other apple varieties. You would need a third apple tree in the mix, such as Golden Delicious, to be a pollen source for both Winesap and Arkansas Black to be fruitful.
we have cedar trees next door and my trees(goldrush and Jonared have the blight and I have heard the Arkansas Black are more resistant. Is this true?
Nancy on Aug 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Cedar apple rust is separate from (fire) blight, but you are correct: Arkansas Black is more resistant to cedar apple rust in certain locations than the GoldRush and Jon-A-Red varieties.
I am interested in purchasing this tree, and I already have two urban apple varieties (blushing delight and golden treat. Will either of these pollinate the Arkansas black? Many Thanks!
Jennifer S on Oct 15, 2019

Customer Reviews

4.5 / 5.0
52 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
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1 Star
Arkansas Black
Over 20 years ago I planted an Arkansas Black from Stark's. The tree has given us loads of apples virtually every year that it has been producing. Though not the biggest apple type from my orchard, it has become one of my most favorite for eating fresh off the tree in October, and it is the best baker we have. We never eat all of them, and our resident deer population seems to love the windfall as much as we love the ones that get picked. Before my retirement, my coworkers always looked forward to the bags of Arkansas Blacks I brought in for their enjoyment. As reported earlier, Japanese beetles do not seem to bother this tree much, preferring my crabapples and grape vines instead. My rural acres have given me a lot of enjoyment planting all kinds of trees over the last 40 + years, but Arkansas Black has to be one of my top 5.
January 11, 2017
Arkansas Black
Best apple I have ever eaten Whether fresh off the tree, applesauce or a pie they are great. Easy to grow, size and shape are easy to work with and the apples are big with a deep red color
March 3, 2016
over 4 years ago
We have just recently moved into a new home and last fall planted 5 new Stark trees. The Arkblack was my first choice based on years of previous experience. The apples are nearly black when fully ripe and the meat ppure white. They are so dense the birds do not bother them and they are also very worm resistant. They are too hard to just pick and eat, like a Gala or Red Delicious but are excellent for cooking and storage.
Hal J. Allen, Vineyard, Utah
March 4, 2016
over 4 years ago
Arkansas Black Apple
This is one hardy apple. If I could have only one apple tree it would be an 'Arkansas Black' for hardiness, flavor and long keeping.
May 16, 2016
over 5 years ago
Bug free!
I've been so impressed by the resiliency of this apple variety. My other apples are being eaten alive by Japanese beetles (sadly) but they are not touching the Arkansas Black. Just amazing.
August 25, 2016
over 4 years ago
Great Winter Apple
Starkspur Arkansas Black Apple is a winner! It has great flavor, keeps all winter in the frig. The tree bears large crops each year and is very hardy.
March 17, 2016
over 4 years ago
Arkansas Black Apple
We planted our Arkansas Black apple tree last spring. We ordered the tree after reading several recommendations that indicated that this variety was a good match to our area in Southeastern Oklahoma. The tree immediately took off and surprised us with its vigorous growth. We mated it with a red delicious tree from Stark for cross pollination. To our surprise, the Arkansas Black bloomed this year and is even making two apples. We guess a neighbor must have an apple tree to allow for pollination. The tree has good form and is still trying to put on apples. At this time we couldn't be happier with the tree.
May 15, 2016
over 4 years ago
Bareroot Arkansas Black Apple Tree
It came in the mail, I followed the preparation and planting instructions and the tree took off :-) It is growin great, very healthy and I can't wait to have a taste from home when it starts putting on fruit. I love my tree!!
May 19, 2016
over 4 years ago
I have had previous positive experience with this apple
It is too early to fruit but I had a tree like this at previous address and I loved it. It was very productive for a dwarf and I am looking forward to getting them again.
May 24, 2016
over 4 years ago
very good apple
Product arrived in a timely manner,this will be the second spring for my Arkansas Black Apple tree . It is growing very well , putting out more branches and leaves.. I can't wait for it to produce apples , i had one of thees apple trees a while back before the sewage line came through, and these were the crunchiest apples I had ever eaten. I would recommend this type of apple tree to a friend.

Ray Pennsylvania
May 23, 2016
over 4 years ago