Are golden delicious red first?

thecityman, Zone 7a/6b near NashvilleJuly 19, 2014

Here is a very simple question. I have a small apple tree that is on its 4th year and bearing for the first time ever. I purchased it to be a Golden Delicious (amazingly the original tag is still on it so I'm sure of this!). This is the first time it has had fruit and I've never had another Golden Delicious. All the apples on it-which are definitely premature and probably about 1/2 the size of a ripe apple- are very much red. In fact, they look like a RED delicious to me.

My simple question is this: Are Golden Delicious apples red as they grow and then turn golden (yellowish) when they ripen, or was this tree mislabeled? Thanks.


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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


My golden right now are green. Not sure when the bumps on the bottom end of red develop. But by harvest you should be able to tell red and golden apart by shape.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:58PM
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thecityman, Zone 7a/6b near Nashville

Always nice to get an answer from one of the true experts here, so thanks. I should have added that the apples on this tree were green until they reached a size of a racket-ball (about 25% bigger than golf ball). Then they turned red. I forgot all about the fact that red delicious have those bumps on the bottom! Mine definitely do not have that and they are still about racket ball size. TO there ever a stage at which your golden delicious apples are red?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:23PM
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I'm not an expert but I have never seen a red colored golden delicious at any stage of it's development. You may not have a delicious variety of apple at all. Other varieties also turn red. It is very common to get mislabeled trees. On the rare occasion when I buy from a big box store I try to purchase soon after they arrive to the store. Another thing I do is to closely look over the labels to see if they have been tampered with. Most likely you will still have a good apple. Post pictures now and toward the time of ripening and I'm sure others will ID your fruit. Good luck, Bill

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:20PM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

My gds start out green and turn yellow I don't remember any red

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:19AM
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alcedo 4/5 W Europe

Please be patient, Yes, this phenomenon is completely normal, now my apples G. D also seem reddish in their grown stage.
Miraculous the color will fade after a while to the color yellow. However when ripe, on 'sun side' the fruits get a reddish glow.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:39AM
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alan haigh

And there are great number of various sports of YD as well as the affect of any given site. I don't believe I've ever seen a YD the color of the first Alcedo photo and I'm around them enough, although it isn't a variety I favor..

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:58AM
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My Golden Delicious are over 50 years old, but have never had the slightest blush any stage of their growth. Al

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:00AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

The top photo of Alcedo looks like a different apple than the bottom. Top has a very unusual stem, very long and prominent. Also both top and bottom of apple and shape are very different than the bottom apples. Alcedo are you sure those are the same variety?

The color is affected by climate primarily temperature. Apples are more highly colored in cooler climates. His bottom photo is very much the shape of my YD. His have more blush due to colder weather.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 12:34

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:42AM
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I bought a GD from Home Depot and thought it was labeled wrong because of the blush on it when young, but it grew into a GD.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:05AM
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Here in zone 5b (w. MT) my few YD are generally pretty free of any reddishness- but other varieties color up nicely.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:09PM
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alan haigh

I've read that it is about cool nights rather than simply a question of overall weather. Something about dialing down respiration at night. I have noticed that cool nights in Sept seem to help certain varieties obtain top quality but I've never seen research on the subject.

In Hawaii and Florida, citrus does not color up as it does in CA, although in the areas of CA where oranges are grown the weather is quite hot- at least for summer varieties- except at night.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 5:33AM
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My Golden Delicious is red first and then turns yellow with age. 100% certain. Last year I had a ton of GD, so much so that I over cropped and this year a few days ago matter of fact, I paid close attention to the 8 apples on the tree. Clearly red. I also have a red delicious and the colors are different, even though they are red. Different shades. Do not give up hope that its a GD.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 5:10PM
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alcedo 4/5 W Europe

a few Goden Delicious ' mutants' are nowadays available, to my knowledge the original classic type is greenish in color.
So I have the suspicion that only mutants are initially red-coloured.

Indeed thereâÂÂs a different growth habit at this young fruits, this elongated fruits growâÂÂs out to beautiful normal sized apples as shown on my picture.
Yes, those are the same variety.
during the autumn we desire in this Apple country where I stay many hours of sunshine during the day but also low temperatures during the nights, a incentive obtaining perfect fruit coloring.

Note: we have multiple different Apple varieties which are red-colored first and which this initially during the further growth disappears.
both the opposite happens of course .

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:28AM
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alan haigh

I haven't tasted but a few of the "improved" strains, but the improvement in those I have is not in flavor. Those prone to russetting have been replaced by reliably smooth skinned sports that may not have the same intense sweetness that is the trait of the best of it's type, IMO.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:56AM
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