I bought a dwarf Golden Delicious apple tree today. We stopped by Orscheln's yet again, and I went looking for marked-down flowering annuals. There were none.
However, there were four dwarf Golden Delicious trees, originally $30, now half-price. They looked like they had been sufficiently watered; the leaves were green and healthy-looking. The problem is that this is a horrible time of year to plant any kind of tree.
We're having temperatures in the mid-nineties, and it looks like we may be in for a dry spell.
I've worked in a couple of apple orchards at harvest time, enough to know that you can't get a good Golden Delicious apple unless you find one that was accidentally allowed to ripen on the tree. In a commercial orchard, Golden Delicious apples are picked green. Now, orchard owners tell you that Goldens are the only kind of apple that will ripen after they're picked; I don't call that "ripened". They're supposed to be golden, for heaven's sake, not green, as they usually are when they sell in the stores.
I remember when I was a child, the Golden Delicious apples my mother bought were sugar-sweet. I haven't tasted apples that good in years.
So after standing there reminiscing about my childhood until my mouth was watering, I decided fifteen bucks wasn't such a big risk. Lots of people spend more than that on soda in a week.
I read in an article online that "A good dwarf tree should live about fifteen to twenty years and will produce about one to two bushels of apples within two to three years."
So, here I am with another experiment going. If I can just get an apple like the ones I tasted as a little girl, it will be worth my efforts, which include digging a hole in the ground on a ninety-five-degree day.
There's one other problem to consider: I'm supposed to have another apple tree nearby to pollinate this one. Oh well.