Field studies were conducted in 1996, 1997, and 1998 at Clinton, NC, to determine the influence of Palmer amaranth establishment and removal periods on the yield and quality of plasticulture-grown ‘Mountain Spring' fresh market tomato. Treatments consisted of 14 Palmer amaranth establishment and removal periods. Half of the treatments were weed removal treatments (REM), in which Palmer amaranth was sowed at the time tomato transplanting and allowed to remain in the field for 0 (weed-free all season), 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, or 10 wk after transplanting (WAT). The second set of the treatments, weed establishment treatments (EST), consisted of sowing Palmer amaranth 0 (weedy all season), 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, or 10 WAT and allowing it to grow in competition with tomato the remainder of the season. Tomato shoot dry weight was reduced 23, 7, and 11 g plant−1 for each week Palmer amaranth removal was delayed from 0 to 10 WAT in 1996, 1997, and 1998, respectively. Marketable tomato yield ranged from 87,000 to 41,000 kg ha−1 for REM of 0 to 10 WAT and 28,000 to 88,000 kg ha−1 for EST of 0 to 6 WAT. Percentage of jumbo, large, medium, and cull tomato yields ranged from 49 to 33%, 22 to 31%, 2 to 6%, and 9 to 11%, respectively, for REM of 0 to 10 WAT and 30 to 49%, 38 to 22%, 3 to 2%, and 12 to 9%, respectively, for EST of 0 to 6 WAT. To avoid losses of marketable tomato yield and percentage of jumbo tomato fruit yield, tomato plots must remain free of Palmer amaranth between 3 and 6 WAT. Observed reduction in marketable tomato yield was likely due to competition for light as Palmer amaranth plants exceeded the tomato plant canopy 6 WAT and remained taller than tomato plants for the remainder of the growing season.