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Golden Delicious Apple
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If you love the smooth, sweet, mellow flavor of the Golden Delicious apple (a.k.a. Yellow Delicious apple), you’re not alone. This people-pleaser ranks near the top of the list of America’s favorite apples. Only Red Delicious outranks it, and that variety’s hold on the number one spot is slipping. But here the thing—if you’ve only eaten supermarket Golden Delicious apples, you probably don’t even realize how scrumptious this variety can be! Golden Delicious apples destined for the mass market are usually picked unripe, stored for months, and shipped hundreds of miles. A Golden Delicious apple picked fresh and perfectly ripe off your own tree, on the other hand, will be honey-sweet and bursting with flavor. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
- Spacing: 12-15'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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The original Golden Delicious Apple Tree was discovered in West Virginia by a farmer named Anderson Mullins in 1905. The chance seedling was likely the offspring of a popular apple at the time called Grimes Golden, which itself may have originated with Johnny Appleseed (yes, he was a real person—John Chapman), whose brother owned an orchard not far from the Mullins farm. Mullins knew he had something special in the new apple, and in 1914 he send the Stark Brothers Nursery a sample. Stark Bros. was astounded by the find and immediately bought the rights to the variety. It was named ‘Golden Delicious’ to play off of the popularity of Stark’s ‘Delicious’ apple, which was changed to ‘Red Delicious’ to avoid confusion. ‘Red Delicious’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ are actually unrelated plants.
The Golden Delicious apple is a dependable, all-purpose apple. Soft but not mushy, it’s excellent in apple pie. It also makes mouth-watering apple butter, applesauce, and cider. And of course, Golden Delicious is one of the best apples around for healthy, fresh snacking. This sweet and mild variety is a favorite of picky kids everywhere, and its low acid content makes it a particularly easily digestible apple for people with tender stomachs.
How to Grow
The Golden Delicious Apple Tree is partially self-fertile, meaning that it will set some fruit without another pollinator around, but harvests will be more generous with a suitable Apple Tree, like Red Delicious or Empire, or a Crabapple, like Prairie Fire or Louisa, nearby. Plant your tree in a sunny, open, well-drained site and water regularly. As far as Apple Trees go, Golden Delicious is fairly easy to grow and reliably produces heavy crops, although it is somewhat susceptible to common Apple diseases such as scab, fire blight, and Cedar Apple rust, and it is very susceptible to the largely cosmetic disease called powdery mildew. These diseases can be managed in a variety of ways—please don’t hesitate to consult with our expert growers at email@example.com to find the most effective and safest options for you.
Questions & Answers
Q: How large will the Golden Delicious Apple be when mature?
A: We grow Golden Delicious Apples on a semi-dwarfing rootstock (S-M7). This will give you an apple that will grow 12-15’ in height and width before pruning to form. You can expect a substantial harvest in 3 to 5 years using this rootstock, or about 3 years after planted at your home.
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