The apple trees in this photo are all the same age and rootstock, but the maniac on the left that is three times the size of the others and loaded with apples is Dorsett Golden. Not only is it loaded with apples, it is shooting out branches all over the place that will have fruiting spurs growing on them by the end of summer. Just for good measure it will bear a second crop of apples in the fall.
Dorsett golden grew from a seed in the Bahamas, and is quite content to fruit with no chilling at all. It is reported to have been a seedling of Golden Delicious, but the University of Florida, who imported the variety into the USA, suspects that this is false. They surmise that it grew from an apple that somehow made it to the Bahamas from Kibbutz Ein Shemer in Israel, where Abba Stein was busy crossing a local Arab crab Red Hadassya with Golden Delicious, which resulted in another wonderful variety called Anna. This offspring may have resembled Golden Delicious, which would account for the confusion.
Regardless of the origin, it is wonderful quality; crisp, sweet, a bit of spice, and holds up OK for baking. We like it chopped up in home-made ice cream. It is popular in the tropics, both in it’s own right and as a pollinator for Anna. It is strange that here is an outstanding apple that can feed half the world, but traditional apple growing regions cannot grow it; it blossoms in January and is invariably blossom-damaged by frost.
We grafted a couple on seedling rootstock and planted them at schools, where they are bound to provide enough apples to feed the entire student population. The tree is a lesson in giving; it explodes in blossoms, sets a heavy crop of fruit reliably each year (twice a year in fact), and still manages to gain two to three feet of growth each year. It is a gift from God that we hope to send to many more places on this earth.