Home Gardeners

APPLE DOUBLE - Golden Delicious & Red Delicious

Double Grafted Apple

Waimea Nurseries grows a range of fruit trees with two or three varieties on the one tree. Some fruit types are grown with both varieties grafted at the bottom of the tree trunk, while others are grown as tiers of branching. The method of propagation is based on the natural habit of the fruit types, to ensure a good shaped tree will result. The tree should be labelled with a small mark of paint to identify which part of the tree each variety is located. This also helps to avoid the potential of accidently pruning off one of the varieties!

Golden Delicious: Golden Delicious produces very sweet honey flavoured fruit, especially when tree ripened. This self fertile variety crops regularly and heavily late in the season. Apples ripen yellow. It produces on both tips and spurs. Requires 700 chilling hours to set fruit.

Red Delicious: Red Delicious is a heart-shaped fruit with a striking bright red skin that is sometimes striped. The flesh is crunchy and very juicy with a mild, sweet flavour.

Red Yellow Double Grafted Self Fertile
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


These two varieties have been specifically selected to be grown together so as to allow cross pollination within the same tree.

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Planting & Tree Care


Soil preference depends on the rootstock that the variety is grafted onto. Dwarf rootstocks require fertile, well draining soils. M116 & M793 types are suitable for heavy clay soils. 


Sunny sheltered sites are best. 


Apples are best in a temperate environment. Some varieties with ‘low chill requirements’ can be grown in warmer Northern areas. 


Water well during the early stages, during long dry periods and when the fruit is developing.


Some varieties require a spray program to control pests and diseases that affect the tree, leaves and fruit. The Rezista range of varieties are resistant to some diseases. 


Apple trees can be espalier trained against a wall or fence. Ballerina® columnar varieties are fantastic planted in rows or in pots as garden or entry features. 


Harvest time is from February to April. Trees on dwarf rootstocks will produce fruit within 2 years, others may take 3-4 years to produce  significant numbers of fruit. 


In most residential areas Apples will often be pollinated by bees from nearby Apple and Crabapple trees. Some varieties are self fertile. 


The ultimate size of the tree depends on the rootstock the variety is grafted onto, the site and the pruning & training of the tree. Dwarf trees can be kept to just 1.5m, while more vigorous trees can grow to 5-6m.

General Apple tree information:

Apple trees will start to produce fruit between its second to fifth year depending on rootstock.  (Please refer to rootstock tab).

Fruit will produce on either tips or spurs. Some varieties produces fruit on both. (Please refer to description above).

Fruit is ripe when the shaded side turns from green to a greeny/yellow colour.

The later the Apple trees fruit ripens, the longer the storage life.


Apple trees perform best in temperate areas. Most varieties need plenty of winter chill, but there are low chill varieties available for warmer climates. (Check out description above).

Apple trees like planting sites that are sunny, and sheltered. Soil preferences depends on rootstocks. (Please refer to rootstock tab).

General Care:

Water Apples well during early planting stages, long dry periods and when fruit is developing.

Some Apple varieties require a spray program to control pests and diseases that affect the tree, leaves and fruit.

To ensure large apples each year and prevent biennial bearing, thin apple bunches by half.

Pruning and Training:

Best to prune Apple trees in late winter so cuts heal faster with spring flush. To minimise disease entering tree, paint cuts with pruning paste.

  • Spur bearing: Reduce growth made the year before, by a third. Cut just after a good strong bud, that points in the direction you want the new branch to go.
  • Tip bearing: All of last years growth on main shoots should be pruned off to the first/second strong and healthy bud. (Unless new shoots are less than 12 inches long).

Prune into a modified central leader or vase shaped tree, or espailer against a wall or fence in triple horizontal cordon, candelarra or double-U shape.

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