"Dorsett Golden" needs another variety of apple tree to pollinate it.

Is the Dorsett Golden Self-Pollinating?

by Melody Lee

“Dorsett Golden” (Malus domestica “Dorsett Golden”) is a self-sterile variety of apple tree, which means that it needs another variety of apple tree for pollination. It produces sweet, firm fruit in late spring or early summer. The apples ripen well on the tree and are delicious when eaten fresh. They also store well in the refrigerator for six to eight weeks.


“Dorsett Golden” apple trees are medium size with upright to semi-spreading forms. The fruit is golden yellow blushed with light red and resembles “Golden Delicious” apples. The trees grow in U. S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 and do well in warmer zones where winter temperatures are mild. They need 250 to 300 chill hours, which is less than most other apple varieties. Chill hours, which are the number of hours when the temperature is less than 46 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, are needed to induce flowering and fruiting.


“Dorsett Golden” apple trees flower in mid-winter in Mediterranean climates; frost commonly damages new buds and blooms in colder climates. Since the trees have a long flowering season, later blooms are usually not damaged. Pollinator trees have to flower at the same time as “Dorsett Golden” apple trees. The best pollination occurs when the temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees F.


“Anna” is the most popular pollinator for “Dorsett Golden” since it also blooms early in the season. Other varieties that bloom early enough to pollinate “Dorset Golden” are “Pink Pearl,” “Pink Pearmain,” “Tropic Sweet” and “Zestar.” Crabapple trees are distantly related to apple varieties and produce pollen that is compatible with them. In addition, crabapples bloom for a long period and produce large amounts of pollen, which increases the chance of cross-pollination.


Apple trees grow best in full sun and well-drained soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 6.5. Exposure to the early morning sun is especially important, as it dries the dew from the foliage and fruit and helps prevent infection by fungal diseases. Good air circulation is also essential to prevent diseases. Apple trees have shallow roots that are easily damaged by cultivation. Spread a layer of mulch over the root system to reduce weeds.

About the Author

Melody Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 30 years of gardening experience. She currently works as a writer and copy editor. Her previous jobs include reporter, photographer and editor for a weekly newspaper.

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