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Apple Dorsett Golden
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Planting and Care Facts (pdf)Zone: 8B-10

Apple Size Info

Size: 5x5x12″ or 3 Gal., 3-5 Ft.

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Product Description

Dorsett Golden Apple – Soft and Sweet!

Dorsett Golden apple is a beautiful, sweet, pale yellow apple slightly blushed with pink. Originally found growing in the Bahamas, this variety was brought to Florida and found to be an excellent pollinator for the ANNA apple. Like Jonathan in texture and flavor. Fruit ripens mid June-mid July. Use ANNA, BIG RIVER, JOY, or TROPIC SWEET for cross pollination. 100-200 chill hours. Zones 8B-10.

Note: We’re so sorry… but due to agricultural restrictions we cannot ship any plants to international countries, or the states of California, Hawaii and Alaska. Also, no citrus trees can be shipped outside of the state of Florida.

Additional Information

Pot Size

5x5x12 or 3 Gal.

Plant Height

3-5 Ft.

Planting Zone


Chill Hours

100-200 chill hours


Anna, Tropic Sweet

Ripening Season

Mid June-mid July.

Choosing the Right Apple Variety…


Dorset Golden AppleApples in Florida? No one quite believes it, but we can do it. Starting over 35 years ago, varieties suitable for our conditions were developed. Like peaches, nectarines and plums, apples need a certain amount of winter chill to produce fruit. Anna, the first truly low chill apple, was developed in Israel from crosses of American and local Arab varieties. Dorsett Golden is a 1953 chance seedling from the Bahamas Islands while Tropic Sweet is a recent University of Florida release. We have recently added two new local finds, Shell and Joy’s, both of which are self fertile, so the list of apples grows for humid climates like ours grows. If you discover any varieties or know of an old unique apple that you have found does well in the humid south please let us know. We are always hunting heirlooms.



Most apples do require cross pollination, but there are a few varieties of apples that are self fertile.If you have a small yard or a tight spot to plant be sure to get a self fertile variety. For those that want an abundance of fruit or fruit over a longer ripening season you will need to make sure you have varieties that will pollinate each other. Be sure to buy two within the correct group so they will be in bloom at the same time. See this chart. Be aware of the fact that crabapple do not pollinate any of the southern low chill apples. Crabapple do need cross pollination as well, you will need to buy a different variety of crabapple to get fruit set. One variety can pollinate up to 4 trees of a different variety if set in an alternate pattern.

See This Grouping to get the right varieties together







– JOY’S APPLE (Self Fertile but

will Pollinate others in group)

SELF FERTILE           










Landscaping with Apple Trees…..

Apple FlowersIt’s the beauty of each changing season that gives you something to watch for with an apple tree. Spring brings billows of fragrant pink flowers followed by months of beautiful apples changing from green to yellow to red. In fall, leaves turn bright yellow. Standard-sized trees can be used as small shade trees or as part of a fruitful border. Mix apples with smaller fruits such as blackberries, figs and pomegranates to create a fruitful hedge along the boundaries of your property, to feed you and the wildlife.



Well-drained, sandy loam soils are preferred, but apples will grow on many soil types if good drainage is provided. Apples will grow more vigorously and produce more fruit in full sun. Avoid frost pockets – apples may be damaged by unseasonable frosts.

SPACING Spacing for apples depends upon the desired use in the landscape. Trees should be at least 15-20 feet apart, but no further than 20 feet apart, to ensure cross pollination.


Planting a Tree  6Apples prefer slightly acid soil (pH 6.0 – 6.8). If you are in doubt about the acidity of your soil, it is very easy to take a sample to the Cooperative Extension agent in your county for a soil test.Dig a planting hole approximately three times the width of the pot and at the same depth as the root ball. Set that soil aside and mix it 50/50 with either aged mushroom compost, aged manure, or rotted pine bark & aged manure/compost. Remove the plant from the pot, gently loosen the root ball and place in the planting hole. To avoid burying too deep, make sure plant is positioned with the top most roots at the soil line. Fill the planting hole with the mix of soil and organic matter; gently tamp it in. Water thoroughly to settle the roots and eliminate air pockets. Do NOT put fertilizer in the planting hole. Only apply fertilizer if it is the correct time of year (see Fertilization section below).

MULCHING If desired, construct a water basin around the base of the tree approximately 36 inches in diameter. Keep an area approximately 4 feet in diameter around the apple clear of grass and weeds to minimize competition for water and nutrients. Mulch in spring and summer with approximately 4-6 inches of mulch. Pull mulch a couple of inches away from the trunk for good air circulation. In spring, we suggest a mix of compost and weed-free hay as mulch. In summer, use weed-free hay or grass clippings alone. Pine bark and pine needles are also good mulches.




The type of fertilizer you choose may be chemical or organic. Make sure that the fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and boron. These minor elements are very important to plants and most soils are low in these elements. Application rates vary according to age of plant. See chart below.


10-10-10 or 10-0-10 with minerals

1 cup per each year of trees life

-Max out at 9 cups on Mature Trees

Espoma Citrus Tone



6 cups for 1 year old

10 cups for 2 year old (4-6ft)

18 cups for 7-9ft tree

24 cups for tree over 9ft

Be sure to spread the fertilizer evenly under the entire canopy of the plant avoiding a 5-inch area around the trunk. Water or rake in. In zone 8 through 10 fertilize 3 times each year in late February, late May and late July/early August. For plants further north (Zone 7), fertilize in March or after bud break. Never fertilize after August (June in Zone 7) as this will promote new growth late in the year which will be subject to freeze damage.


The first year is a critical time for the establishment of a new apple. Water thoroughly twice a week on light soils and once a week on clay soils. Soak the entire root system deeply – this usually takes 40-50 minutes. Established apples should receive at least 1 inch of water each week. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Fruit may drop prematurely if insufficiently irrigated during dry spells.




 Apples in the South are often pruned to an open center habit. At the time of planting, select 3-4 scaffold branches spaced equally around the trunk and remove other branches flush with the trunk. In the second dormant season, top the scaffold limbs approximately 36 inches from the trunk to encourage secondary branching. You want the tree to have good air circulation in the interior.

Continue to train apple trees during the first 5 years. Pruning should be designed to train the tree upward and outward by thinning crossing branches. The trees can be held in their allotted space by mold and hold cuts, which are devigorating heading cuts made into two year old wood. Do this by topping back the main scaffold limb to a weaker outward growing shoot.

Mature trees are pruned during the dormant season. Thin out branches and head back long shoots as needed to maintain tree shape. Remove water sprouts. An unpruned tree will tend to be bushy, lack vigor and produce small, inferior quality apples. Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches when pruning. Head trees back with mold and hold cuts to maintain height for ease of picking.



It is important not to let your newly planted apple tree bear much fruit until they has become established. Early bearing can stunt and set the tree back from developing good size and structure. It can also weaken the tree, setting it up for insect or disease issues. It is best to pull all of the fruit off the tree the first year. Throughout the life of your apple tree it is advisable to thin your crop load, thinning fruit will result is larger more high quality fruit. Thin the fruit when they are the size of walnuts, pull off all but 1 or 2 fruits per cluster. The best rule of thumb is to have 1 fruit per 6 inches of branch.  Your trees will live longer and remain healthy if you learn how to thin their fruit loads.


Fire Blight

Fire Blight

Apples require an occasional spraying to maintain their health. Aphids may be an occasional  problem and are easily controlled with Neem. Fruit rots can be troublesome in humid climates, use wettable sulfur and Neem.   Fire Blight can be a problem if present elsewhere in the orchard. Fire Blight is controlled by cutting out and destroying limbs that show evidence of the disease throughout the year. Be sure to cut 8 inches below visible damage and sterilize your pruning shears between cuts to avoid cross contamination.


Always remember that good disease resistance begins with the health of the plant. Plants stressed from lack of water, not enough sun or being under fed are more susceptible to disease and insects.  Maintaining good sanitation practices in the orchard is most important. The removal of diseased and dead wood, and picking up fallen or rotting fruit off the trees as it occurs, will go a long way in keeping disease and insects at a minimum. Spray at first sign of an issue, rather than waiting until the problem is out of hand will go a long way to keeping your plants healthy and fruiting properly.

Picking Home Grown Southern Apples….

Growing apples in the deep south is really a wonder of modern fruit tree breeding. Most of the apple growing region in the states is in the colder north. Apples there are often picked in the fall when the weather is cooler and the fruit store can be stored for months.  Here in the south, we grow summer ripening apples. The fruit are usually ready to harvest around the 4th of July. Harvesting at that time of the year is best done in the cool of the morning. The flavor peaks while temperature are cooler and the morning dew makes them plump and juicy. If you aren’t an early riser, then harvesting and getting the field heat out of the fruit, as quickly as possible is something you’ll want to think about, before you begin picking. 

Apple AnnaNow picking an apple for peak flavor often depends on how you like to eat your apples, those that like hard crunchy tangy fruits will want to pick when the fruits ground color is still somewhat green.  If you like your apple soft and sweet, pick when the ground color has lightened into a light green to slightly yellow color. 


NOTE…  The ground color is the base color starts green and as it ripens lightens to yellow, the blush is the red to pink color on the apple. The more sun the more blush. You’ll find your prettiest apples on the outside of the tree where the sun can get to them.  



Summer apples don’t store well and picking and processing them is often key to how well they’ll keep after picking. Make arrangements to get the fruit into a cool water bath or the fridge as soon as possible after picking to get the field heat out of them. If picking and storing is done right you can expect up to 6 weeks of storage time on southern apples. 

If your blessed with an abundant harvest think about freezing the surplus. All the summer apples are known for their hard crispy nature and are wonderful for baking. Just core and chip up the fruit and store in the freezer for late winter pies and deserts. 

Much like all apples, southern apple are excellent for dehydrating. Chip up and dry in the oven or a food dehydrator. They will store for months.


Our Favorite Recipe...


Tarte TatinTare Tatin

Serves 8-10

    • 6 to 8 tart apples Anna, Joy or Shell
    • 3/4 cups sugar
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
    • 4 Tablespoons (2 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut up
    • Chilled pastry dough


Choose a pan: a tarte tatin mold will be perfect but you can also use an iron skillet, or even a heavy stainless steel  or non-stick sauté pan. Whatever you choose, it should be about 10″ across at the top and have an ovenproof handle.


Peel the apples, quarter them, and cut the cores out. Squeeze half a lemon over them if not using right away.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the sugar into the pan and set over medium heat. Add the water, just enough to be absorbed by the sugar. It’s OK to stir it once, to combine the water and sugar, but don’t stir it after that. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to make sure there are no sugar crystals clinging to the edges of the pan. Brush periodically during cooking.


Have the cold butter ready by the stove. Cook the sugar over medium to medium-high heat, gently swirling the pan to keep it cooking evenly, until it turns a medium-dark amber color. This will happen very quickly, be careful not to burn it. Keep the heat low if you are unsure once it starts to turn color. If you are using a dark skillet, drop a little of the sugar on a piece of white paper, or paper towel to check the color as it will be hard to judge in the pan. The very moment it looks dark enough, remove the pan from the heat and gently add the cold butter. Don’t splash, as the sugar is very hot. It will bubble up a bit.


Off the heat, add the apples, rounded sides down, in concentric circles, starting on the outside edge of the pan. Try to keep the apples somewhat vertical, and pack them as closely as possible. Don’t let your fingers touch the hot caramel. Slice any remaining apples into small wedges and scatter them around, filling any holes or low spots.


Return the pan to the stove, and cook the apple mixture, undisturbed, until the apples are softened, and the caramel liquid is starting to thicken. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes, but use your judgment, because much depends on the pan you are using and the heat level. At this point, you can set the apples aside and let them cool a bit. This makes it easier to cover it with pastry, and also helps prevent overcooking the apples, but you can continue with the recipe if you want.


Roll the chilled pastry out until it is 1 to 2 inches larger than the pan you are using. If you are using frozen puff pastry, it will already be flat, but you will need to roll it a little bit so it’s big enough. Place the rolled dough on top of the apples, and tuck it in around the apples. Cut a small vent in the center, place on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and place in the lower third of the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is nicely browned and the caramel is bubbling up around the edges.


Let cool slightly, at least 10 minutes, or until you are ready to serve the tart. If it has completely cooled before you serve, place it over a low heat for a minute or so to re-melt the caramel. Run a butter knife around the edges to loosen them, and then place a flat plate on top of the tart. Holding the two firmly together (wear oven mitts if it’s hot), quickly and carefully flip the unit over and place on the counter. Remove the pan. If any apples stick to the pan, just replace them where they should go on the tart. Serve warm, with crème fråiche, if desired