Red Delicious Apple
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Red Delicious is America’s apple, the classic lunch box treat. This deep red beauty has a sweet, mellow taste, with no trace of acidity like some other apples. In fact, its lack of acidity makes it a popular home remedy for acid reflux! Naturally fortified with vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, fiber, and a wealth of health-promoting antioxidants, low-calorie apples really do “keep the doctor away.” Having a Red Delicious Apple Tree in your backyard will put sweet, wholesome snacking at your doorstep and make it easy for everyone in the family to get their apple a day.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
- Spacing: 12-15'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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Legend has it that the Red Delicious Apple Tree began life as a seedling that sprouted in the orchard of an Iowa farmer named Jesse Hiatt in the 1870s. Because Apple Trees grown from seed rarely produce decent apples, he cut the tree down. It resprouted. He cut the seedling down again, and after it resprouted once more, he decided to let it live. When the tree bore fruit several years later, he tasted the best apple he’d ever had and named it the ‘Hawkeye’. In 1893, the Hawkeye won an apple contest held by Stark Brothers Nursery and was renamed ‘Delicious’. When the unrelated ‘Golden Delicious’ apple was introduced in 1914, ‘Delicious’ became ‘Red Delicious’ to avoid any confusion and went on to become America’s favorite apple.
Some people are turned off by Red Delicious apples, considering them rather mushy in texture and lacking in taste. That may be a result of modern production methods. Of course an apple picked before it’s ripe, shipped hundreds of miles, and stored for months isn’t going to taste that great! If you ever get to try a snappy, refreshing, sun-ripened Red Delicious right off the tree, however, you might understand what made Americans fall in love with this variety in those simpler times so many years ago.
How to Grow
Plant your Red Delicious Apple Tree in an open spot that receives sun all day long and where air circulates freely. The soil should be moderately fertile and well drained—it shouldn’t stay soggy after a rain, but it should hold some moisture. An annual mulch of shredded bark or wood chips will help to hold in moisture and keep the root zone cool in summer. Be sure to keep mulch from contacting the trunk directly. Apple Trees are subject to a number of pests and diseases, but they are generally treatable or preventable with some know-how. Our expert growers can give you the tools you need to succeed. Contact them anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions & Answers
Q: How big will the Red Delicious Apple be when mature?
A: We grow Red 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.
Q: Do I need another apple tree to pollinate the Red Delicious Apple?
A: Yes - you do need another variety of Apple Tree in order to get fruit on the Red Delicious Apple. There are quite a few varieties that will get the job done for you - Gala, Honeycrisp, Rubinette, Empire and Braeburn are just a few of the possibilities!
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