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Yellow Delicious AppleMalus x domestica

The large, golden fruit of the yellow delicious apple tree ripens late, developing a fine, sweet flavor. While they are best known as fresh eating apples, yellow delicious also work well for pies, applesauce and preserves. They also store well, keeping 3–6 months if refrigerated.

When planting these trees, be sure to include other apple varieties such as red delicious, red Jonathan or early harvest to ensure pollination.

Hardiness Zones

The yellow delicious apple can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 5–8. View Map

Tree Type

This is a fruit tree, grown primarily for the edible fruit it produces.

Mature Size

The standard yellow delicious apple tree grows to a height of 20–25' and a spread of around 25' at maturity. The semi-dwarf variety grows to a height of 12–15' with a spread of 12–15'. The dwarf variety grows to a height of about 10' with a spread of about 10'.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

This tree needs a minimum of 6–8 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The yellow delicious apple grows well in moist, well-drained soil. It is not drought-tolerant.


This tree:
  • Produces a large, conical golden apple with an occasional rose blush. The white flesh is crisp and aromatic with a sweet flavor--great for fresh eating, applesauce, pies and preserves.
  • Yields ripe fruit typically from mid-September to mid-October. The fruit will keep for up to 3–6 months if refrigerated.
  • Needs a compatible cultivar--growing within 100' of the tree for standard, 50' for semi-dwarf and 20' for dwarf varieties-- to ensure pollination.
  • Can be pollinated with red delicious, red Jonathan, early harvest or a variety from a different apple family.
  • Bears fruit in 6–10 years if standard, 4–6 years if semi-dwarf and 3–4 years if dwarf.
  • Blooms late midseason, with white to pinkish flowers.
  • Is available in standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf sizes. Our yellow delicious seedlings are budded onto whole rootstock; our semi-dwarf seedlings are grafted onto Malling-Merton III; and our dwarf seedlings are grafted onto Malling 7A, Malling 26.
  • Requires regular watering.
  • Has a chill hours (CU) requirement of 600–700. (Chill hours are the average hours of air temperature between 32° and 45° F in a typical winter season.)
  • Grows in an oval, spreading shape. Sometimes they are horizontal, upright or erect.

Wildlife Value

Apples are eaten by a variety of birds and mammals. The leaves and branches are browsed. The trees can be destroyed by rodents and rabbits girdling the stem or trunk. It produces nectar and/or pollen, thus providing nutrition for bees in early to late spring.