All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Dorsett Golden apple

Dorsett Golden was raised by Mrs Dorsett in The Bahamas in the 1950s.  It is one of a very small group of apple varieties that can flourish in tropical climates, because of its exceptionally low chilling requirement of less than 300 hours.  Researchers at the University of Florida have even observed Dorsett Golden growing as an evergreen, i.e. with no dormant period although it does not fruit properly when this happens.

Dorsett Golden flowers in southern Calfornia in January and late February in Florida, far ahead of most varieties, so pollination is a potential issue.  It is often paired with another low-chill variety, Anna which is also descended from Golden Delicious. However note that the flowering times may not overlap in all areas - Anna usually flowers earlier. 

The apples ripen late June / early July in southern California.  Like most early season varieties the apples do not keep, however the flesh is lightly crisp and with a good flavor - far better than might be expected from an early season hot climate apple.  Flavor is apparently better in apples which are slightly shaded (the reverse of what is normally recommended for cool climate apples).

Dorsett Golden trees are extremely precocious and will start fruiting in their second year.

Whilst there is no disputing that this variety was raised in The Bahamas as a chance seedling, some authorities have questioned whether it is a seedling of Golden Delicious, suggesting it may instead be from an Israeli breeding programme at the Ein Shemer kibbutz.  However that programme also featured Golden Delicious, so the obvious similarity with Golden Delicious is probably explained by a close relationship either as a parent or grandparent.

We are grateful to Kevin Hauser for information and photos of this variety.

Dorsett Golden identification images

  • Anna (left) and Dorsett Golden (right)

USDA identification images for Dorsett Golden

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.


    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Parents and other ancestors of this variety

    • Golden Delicious (parent) - Golden Delicious is probably the parent, or possibly grand-parent of Dorsett Golden.

    See also

    • Anna - Anna and Dorsett Golden are natural partners, being the only varieties which flower so early in the season.

    Visitor reviews

    • 26 Jun 2022 
      This is about the misinformation in the article. Apples cannot grow on a tropical Island such as the Bahamas. It's Nassau county NY where the yes originated. Mangos grow in Nassau Bahamas where it rarely gets below 60 degrees
    • 18 Apr 2020  TEXAS, United States
      My tree is doing great it started putting out apples the end of March they are about the size of marbles I’m in west Texas
    • 02 Aug 2019  LOUISIANA, United States
      My Dorsett trees don't ripen till September and blossom at the end of March to the beginning May.
    • 14 Jun 2015  AZ, United States
      Nice and sweet with a bit of tart if picked while still a bit green. Mine look much more like Golden Delicious than the photos. Very short shelf life.
    • 19 Feb 2015  FLORIDA, United States
      My dorsett apple tree is full of blooms never had an apple tree in pot any typos going to freeze tonight have no clue what to do and how long after blooms will there be furit
    • 19 Feb 2015  FLORIDA, United States
      My dorsett apple tree is full of blooms never had an apple tree in pot any typos going to freeze tonight have no clue what to do and how long after blooms will there be furit

    Tree register

    United States

    Australia

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2022 season

    • 28th February  2022  - tree owned by Mark in Tujunga, United States

    2018 season

    • February  2018  - tree owned by Mark in Tujunga, United States

    2015 season

    • 15th February  2015  - tree owned by Cr in Marana, United States

    2014 season

    • 1st February  2014  - tree owned by Dave in Santa Barbara, United States
    • February  2014  - tree owned by Cr in Marana, United States
    • 20th January  2014  - tree owned by Danny in Phoenix, United States

    2013 season

    • 15th October  2013  - tree owned by Don in Corona, United States
    • 15th April  2013  - tree owned by Jim in Austin, United States

    2012 season

    • 28th January  2012  - tree owned by Avary in La Mesa, United States

    2011 season

    • March  2011  - tree owned by Randy in Baxley, United States

    Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.


    Harvest records for this variety

    2018 season

    • 1st week July  2018  - tree owned by Mark in Tujunga, United States

    2013 season

    • 1st week July  2013  - tree owned by Dave in Santa Barbara, United States
    • 4th week June  2013  - tree owned by Jim in Surprise, United States
    • 3rd week June  2013  - tree owned by Jim in Austin, United States

    2011 season

    • 2nd week June  2011  - tree owned by Randy in Baxley, United States

    2010 season

    • 3rd week June  2010  - tree owned by Randy in Baxley, United States

    Origins

    • Species: Malus domestica
    • Parentage: Probably a seedling of Golden Delicious
    • Introduced: 1954
    • Developed by: Mrs Dorsett

    Using

    • Picking season: Early
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-3 days
    • Flavor style (apples): Sweeter
    • Food uses: Eating fresh

    Growing

    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile

    Climate

    • Chill requirement: Low-chill Fruits readily with 300 hours or less.

    Identification

    • Country of origin: Bahamas
    • Fruit colour: Yellow / Orange

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Dorsett Golden:

    United States




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