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PLANT PROFILE:
Golden Delicious Apple

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Golden Delicious Apple

Malus x domestica ‘Golden Delicious’

Description & Overview

Golden Delicious apple is a large, sweet apple with gold/green skin color. For many years it was in the top 5 apple varieties produced by volume in world apple production. It is still a popular variety in Europe although its popularity in the U.S. has waned in recent years due to the number of newer introductions on the market. Excellent apple variety for the home or commercial grower.


Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 15′
Mature Spread: 20′
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Tree
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Site Requirements: Well-drained site
Flower: White
Bloom Period: Early-mid May
Foliage: Green
Fall Color: N/A
Fruit Notes: Large; sweet, gold/green skin

Suggested Uses:

We offer this variety on M7 rootstock which is semi-dwarf and free-standing.

While Golden Delicious is primarily used for fresh eating, it is also an excellent cooking apple. Wonderful for sauce, pies and more – just remember to reduce the amount of sugar called for in any cooked apple recipe. Applesauce made from Golden Delicious is very distinctive in flavor.

golden delicious apple malus domestica fruit tree wisconsin milwaukee

Wildlife Value:

Apple trees are relished by deer, numerous small mammals, and insects.

Maintenance Tips:

Requires annual pruning during the dormant season (late winter/early spring) to promote an open canopy for better air flow and sunlight penetration. Learn about Training & Pruning Fruit Trees.

This variety does have the unfortunate characteristic of setting very heavy fruit crops. If not thinned heavily the tree will over-produce and the apples will stay small, green and never ripen properly. It is IMPERATIVE to thin the fruit of Golden Delicious to 12″ apart in mid-June-July 4th in order to get large fruits that color and flavor well. Perhaps a little more work than the average apple variety, but the flavor of a large and fully tree ripened Golden Delicious is worth the effort.

Interesting to note that Golden Delicious grown West of the Rocky Mountains normally have a smooth skin. Those grown East of the Rocky Mountains normally have a rough skin texture. Golden Delicious are sometimes prone to russeting on the skin. Some strains are less prone to this issue. Any russeting on the skin is purely cosmetic.

golden delicious apple malus domestica fruit tree wisconsin milwaukee grow

Pests/Problems:

Numerous like most apple varieties. For best quality crop, follow a spray program or grow the fruit in bags (cloth, plastic, paper). Find a spraying guide and more information on Best Pesticides For The Home Orchardist.

Leaf Lore:

The original Golden Delicious tree was a chance seedling at the Mullins farm in West Virginia in the late 19th century. The apple was so good that samples were sent to Stark Nursery in Missouri. Stark Nursery was so impressed by the fruit, that they sent a representative out to view the tree. Stark Nursery ended up buying the original tree and the right to propagate it. They marketed this variety nationwide starting in the early 20th century and it soon rose in popularity around the entire world to become one of the top 5 apple varieties in world production.

Interesting to note that Golden Delicious grown West of the Rocky Mountains normally have a smooth skin. Those grown East of the Rocky Mountains normally have a rough skin texture. Golden Delicious are sometimes prone to russeting on the skin. Some strains are less prone to this issue. Any russeting on the skin is purely cosmetic.

Companion Plants:

Golden Delicious apple must be cross-pollinated with a crabapple or different apple variety to produce fruit.


Golden Delicious apple Malus x domestica 'Golden Delicious' benchcard

GOLDEN DELICIOUS BENCHCARD