Anybody heard of Milam apples?

Hey all,

I asked this question that’s buried deep in another thread, but thought I’d start a new thread.

Apparently on our NE Ky farm, there are some old Milam apple trees. They’re huge in size, at least 20+ feet tall, and a couple of them have already set tons of fruit. The others did not, so maybe those went biennial?

The last couple of days I’ve been out there thinning the fruit that I could reach, with the help of of chair. But, as tall as they are, I doubt I got to a third of all the applets. These trees need some substantial pruning. The fruitlets are about pea size now.

My wife recalls that her Mom told her they were Milam’s, and I think her grandparents may have planted them decades ago. The fruit on the trees last year were no larger than a golf ball, prob because they were not thinned at all. I wanted see what size I could get out of them if they were thinned a bit.

Do any of you know anything about this variety, how big they normally get, flavor, and when is their best harvest time? Google didn’t give me a lot of info on them other than some historical stuff. I showed this site to the wife, and she confirmed that this is prob the right variety:


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They are reportedly similar to red delicious and slightly more tart Milam Apple Story

Yeah, I read that too, I was just hoping someone had actually tried one or seen one of the trees. Apparently it was quite popular back in the 19th century but not so much nowadays.

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I actually have a Milam apple tree. This tree is 5 years old. Last year it produced 4 apples. This year my tree has over 40 apples that I can see. Last year when I tasted one of the apples, my kid’s asked me what it tasted like. I told them that it tasted like a cross between a Honeycrisp and a Granny Smith , both my favorite!!! It was delicious, juicy and to me, the perfect apple!!!


My apples are bigger than a tennis ball but smaller than a softball. I was told that if want to eat right off the tree, you take the apple in the cup of your palm and gently twist it’s ready, at this point they’re ripe. If you plan on storing them you should pick them 2 to 3 weeks before they’re fully ripe. I’m in Missouri, it’s mid August and I’m going to check and see if they’re almost ready. Just checked, some are ready and some aren’t. So I’d say since I’m planning on using mine right away, I’ll wait another week and go pick apples. Hope this helps!!

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Thanks for the reply and welcome to the forum. I’m not on here much anymore (work and other reasons) but was glad to hear about someone else who has Milam apples. Sounds like a very good apple for you; ours are old, tall and need lots of pruning, and they need thinning because all the fruit’s no bigger than a thumbnail.

We have other apple trees that I planted 5-6 years ago, but due to late freezes and squirrels we won’t be getting much from our 14 trees, other than maybe a few Goldrush.

Speaking of Honeycrisp, we are going to try to visit a favorite orchard of ours this weekend, as they said they have their best crop of HC in many years. They also have some peaches, which is rare for them due to the finicky climate here in N Kentucky. Our peach trees were hit hard by freezes, but there was a decent number of fruit left on our 4 trees, but some varmit has got to them before they got much bigger than a golf ball.