The Golden Dorsett apple is a delicious and versatile variety that grows well in the Kenyan highlands. Known for its sweet and crisp flavor, this apple is perfect for fresh eating, baking, and juicing. In recent years, the Golden Dorsett has become increasingly popular among Kenyan farmers, thanks to its high yield and low chilling requirements.

Golden Dorsett Apple Variety; A Comprehensive Farming Guide

Origin and History of Golden Dorsett Apple Variety

Golden Dorsett Apples first appeared in the 1950s in Nassau, Bahamas, descending from the popular Golden Delicious variety. Mrs. Irene Dorsett of New York is credited to have raised the first Golden Dorsett apples in the Bahamas. It was assigned the botanical name malus and became popular for cross-pollination with the Anna apple that originated in Israel.

Although originally from the Bahamas, the Golden Dorsett apple tree has adapted to Kenyan soil and thrives without any persistent issues.

Dorsett Golden AppleDetails
Botanical nameMalus domestica ‘Dorsett Golden’
Best for Hardiness Zones6 – 9
Mature size18 – 20 feet
Growth habitModerate
Bloom timeJanuary to March
Flower colorWhite
Preferred soilWell-draining
Light requirementsFull sun
Watering needsRegular
FertilizationHigh-phosphorus fruit tree fertilizer

Golden Dorsett Apple Tree Appearance

The Golden Dorsett apple tree is an ornamental tree besides being a tree with delicious fruits. It has an upright trunk with a round canopy. The canopy can get dense. This requires pruning to allow sunlight and airflow inside.

How Tall Do Golden Dorsett Apple Trees Grow?

The Golden Dorsett apple tree is a small size tree that grows between 18 to 20 feet tall and the same in width. The tree has a moderate growth habit and doesn’t require much pruning until it’s mature enough to bear fruits.

Is Malus ‘Golden Dorsett’ Self-Pollinating?

This cultivar is not self-pollinating. You’ll need to plant another apple variety to get the flowers pollinated. Otherwise, the tree will not bear fruit.

Golden Dorsett Apple Fruit

The fruit of the Golden Dorsett apple tree is round and a little larger than a tennis ball. While developing, it will have green mottled skin, but as it matures, the fruit will turn into a lime-green or golden yellow color with red blushes.

The apples grow in clusters of six to eight. The flesh inside is white, sweet, and crunchy.

Golden Dorsett Apple Tree Planting Guide

The success of the Golden Dorsett in Kenyan orchards is attributed to the optimal growing conditions that the region provides. These apples thrive in well-drained soils with good fertility and are typically cultivated at altitudes ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 meters above sea level. The cool temperatures and moderate rainfall in highland areas create an ideal environment for the Golden Dorsett to flourish.

The key factors for the success of the Golden Dorsett apple tree are the soil, sunlight, and pruning. If you get the first two right, then you won’t have trouble with the blooming and the fruits. Make sure to have another apple variety nearby for cross-pollination.

Propagation & Seedlings

Golden Dorsett Apple is propagated via grafting. To obtain quality grafted apple seedlings, contact 0724559286 or +254790509684

Ideal Soil

The ideal soil for the Golden Dorsett apple tree is loamy, well-draining soil. Test the soil beforehand, and make sure the pH levels are neutral to slightly acidic. Amend clayish soil with coarse sand to make it loose and improve its draining.


Since the Golden Dorsett apple tree needs at least one other apple tree in the vicinity to ensure cross-pollination, you need to be aware of spacing the trees properly for ventilation and allowing the sun to penetrate the canopy of each tree.

The ideal spacing is 15 feet apart. This takes into account that the average mature tree grows to 18 or 20 feet wide.

Preparing the Planting Hole

Before digging a hole for the tree, try to estimate the height of the root ball of the sapling you’re going to plant. Remove any weeds or debris in the area, and make sure the tree is not near a wall and will not be in the shadow of a building or a larger tree.

Then dig a hole twice as wide as the diameter of the root ball and just as deep. You need plenty of room around the roots to spread them out every which way.

Planting the Tree

Ease the sapling out of the wrapping it came in, or if it’s already in a pot, water the pot, and then gently pull the sapling out. Discard any soil attached to the roots, and examine the root ball. Trim off any rotten, damaged, or entangled roots.

Place the sapling in the middle of the hole, and spread the roots out to fill the bottom. Then backfill with soil, and firm it to push out air pockets. Water the sapling immediately.

Watering and Mulching

The Golden Dorsett apple tree needs moist soil at all times. Water the tree with about 1 inch of water a week. If the soil dries fast, water it twice a week to keep it moist.

Mulching is crucial for improving the soil’s retention of moisture. Cover the area around the base with a 3-inch layer of mulch, making sure the mulch doesn’t touch the trunk.

Harvesting and Post-Harvest Handling

Golden Dorsett apples are typically harvested from late June to early July, depending on the specific region and local climate conditions. The timing of harvest is crucial to ensure that the apples reach their peak ripeness, offering consumers the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

Post-harvest handling is a critical aspect of maintaining the quality of Golden Dorsett apples. Following careful harvesting, the apples undergo sorting, grading, and packaging processes to meet the stringent quality standards demanded by both domestic and international markets. Cold storage facilities are often employed to extend the shelf life of the apples and preserve their crisp texture.


In conclusion, the Golden Dorsett apple variety has not only added a touch of golden brilliance to Kenya’s orchards but has also become a symbol of success and sustainability in the country’s agricultural sector. Through careful cultivation practices and a commitment to quality, Kenyan farmers have elevated the Golden Dorsett to international acclaim, showcasing the nation’s ability to produce premium fruits that captivate the palates of consumers worldwide.

Cheers to a fruitful future!

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