Dorsett Golden

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Fruit Fact: Dorsett Golden, a variety of apples

Dorsett Golden is a deliciously sweet and lightly aromatic ultra-low chill apple that thrives in tropical climates.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: Dorsett Golden
Species: malus domestica, chance seedling of golden delicious
Synonyms: None
Origin: This apple comes to us courtesy of Mrs. Irene Dorsett of Nassua, New Providence Island in the Bahamas, 1953. She brought home some golden delicious apples from New York and decided to try to grow out some of the seeds at her home. One seed germinated, and six years later bore fruit in the tropical caribbean climate. In 1964, William Whitman, founder of the Rare Fruit Council International and Bal Harbour realtor at the time discovered the tree and took scions back to Miami to propagate and distribute this variety under the name Dorsett Golden.
Patents or Trademarks: None

Fruit:

Description: A small pale yellow skinned apple with a slightly oblate shape and slightly angular. Some russeting in the calyx cavity. Develops light red, striped blush in sun exposed areas If allowed to produce more than one harvest per year, fruits rapidly decline in size.

Flavor and tasting notes: A sweet, almost vanilla-like flavor when fully tree ripened in cool temperate Summer climates. The cream flesh is firm and crunchy, similar to golden delicious, but has a tendency to degrade in heat, so in the tropics or hot subtropical climates, this apple needs to be picked earlier and therefore will be sharper. In cold Winter climates, when ripened in the Winter becomes more aromatic.

Adaptation:

Dorsett golden is one of a handful of apples that is truly low chill, requiring very little dormancy in order to thrive and set fruit. In warm and tropical climates, it can fruit up to three times a year. In temperate yet mild climates, dorsett golden is the first apple variety to bloom in early to mid January and ripen high quality fruits in late June to early July. As a Summer apple in those mild climates, it fills a unique niche, being sweet and firm more like a Fall apple and without the typical sharp berry flavors of early Summer apples. Summer ripened apples will store for at least 6 weeks. In colder Winter climates, dorsett golden becomes a Winter apple. The first blooms usually will emerge in mild late Winter weather and freeze once it gets cold again, but will bloom again in June (F19) and the fruit will ripen in the middle of October. The late ripening fruit is of high quality, more aromatic than Summer ripened fruit, and will store into the following January.

Bloom Time Rating: F1

Growth Habit:

Highly spurring and slightly dwarfing. The high number of spurs and heavy bearing usually makes it difficult to get good growth on the trees and also makes it difficult to get a lot of scion wood. Scion wood rarely shows up at scion exchanges.

Vigor: T1

Harvest, storage and consumption:

Mid June to early July in tropical and temperate climates, stores for a good 6 weeks if not allowed to go soft in excessive heat. Up to two additional annual harvests possible in warm temperate to subtropical climates, but fruit will decrease significantly in size. For cold Winter climates, blooms in June and ripens in mid October, late ripening apples will store up to three months in conventional storage.

Begin of Harvest: mid June
End of Harvest: mid July
Stores Until: early Aug

Usage:

Outstanding both as a dessert and culinary apple, but not juicy enough and too mild for cider. To use as a cooker, needs to be picked while still green.

Eating: Yes
Cooking: Yes
Cider: No

Diseases:

Moderately resistant to scab, powdery mildew and other fungal diseases, hence why it does so well in tropical climates. However, if the leaves are allowed to remain on the tree through cold and wet rainy weather, it will harbor massive scab. Therefore needs to be manually defoliated in chilly wet Winter climates like Central California and the Mediterranean where it doesn't get cold enough to defoliate on its own.

Scab Susceptibility: Low
Fire Blight Susceptibility: low
Powdery Mildew Susceptibility: Low
Cedar Apple Rust Susceptibility: Low
Black Rot Susceptibility: Low
Phytopthera Rots Susceptibility: Low
Fly Speck Susceptibility: Low
Coddling Moth Susceptibility: Low

Nurseries that carry this variety:

Widely available from a number of nurseries, usually one of the first varieties to sell out, so if you are interested in this fruit, better contact your favorite nursery and order early.

Trees of Antiquity

Photo Gallery

This picture shows the dorsett golden apple in comparison to Anna. Dorsett Golden is smaller but more firm than Anna and keeps better than Anna. (c) The Cloudforest Gardener

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