NYC’s Island Orchard!

Sapling heavy with fruit on the berm in the Randall's Island Park public orchard. (Photo by Eun Young Sebazco, Randall's Island Sports Foundation.)

Welcome to the island orchard at the core of the Big Apple!

Visitors to Randall’s Island Park can enjoy a growing orchard of 99 apple trees, many of which, though but saplings, are already bearing fruit! We hope Mayor Bloomberg will plant the 100th, capstone tree with us — a full-sized rootstock Newtown Pippin!

Our orchard boasts a mix of Newtown Pippins, other heirlooms, Honeycrisps and the world’s only public planting of Malus sieversii, the Kazakh ancestor of all cultivated apples in Euro-American culinary heritage. Many of these trees are on full-sized rootstock, bringing the feel of the ancient Central Asian apple forest to the heart of the Big Apple!

As Founder of the LIC Community Boathouse it’s a particular joy to create a kayaking destination, as this orchard no doubt will be. Concert goers and athletic event spectators, players of cricket, soccer and miniature golf, runners and bikers, birders and other island visitors will love the orchard too!

More about this unique amenity here:

WNET (PBS Channel 13)

“The Apple of New York’s Eye”

New York Times

“For the Big Apple, A Gift that Grows”


“Putting the Native Apple Back in the Big Apple”


“Queens’ Modern Day Johnny Appleseed”

My great thanks to Randall’s Island Sports Foundation, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, New York Restoration Project, US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan, US Department of State, Green Apple Cleaners, FEGS, Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation, ZipCar, Gil Lopez, Ed Hancox, Mela Ottaino, Amy Herman, Anandi Premlal, Nadine Chandy, Caroline Walker, Bob Din, Bill McIntyre and many other volunteers and students!

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