Anna/Dorsett Golden apple growers: Q regarding time to first fruiting

Hey everyone,
I’ve been going down the road of attempting to breed my own apple for about 6 months (still in the parent gathering stage), and while lamenting to a friend about how many years apples can take to first set fruit, they mentioned that they had heard that Anna, as well Dorsett Golden, are naturally highly precocious, often fruiting in their first or second year (even from seedlings!).

That immediately peaked piqued my interest in using Anna as a seedling parent- Having each generation take a fraction of the time of traditional apples would be incredible!

But, before laying out some $$$ (and finding the space to add yet another apple variety, haha), I thought I’d ask the other folks who’ve grown Anna/GD to see what their experiences were, and how many years they feel it took their trees to first bear fruit (any fruit, not necessarily full indicative fruit).


Grafting seedlings to an existing tree or to a precocious rootstock might be just as advantageous.

(Ps…I think the selection of “piqued” instead of “peaked” is the better option)

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That’s almost certainly true, though I wonder how much difference you’d get having both Anna lineage and a precocious rootstock (e.g. M27). I’m not against the Anna genes being present taste wise, and it would be interesting to see how common the self-fertile nature is as well.

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Do you think that these varieties are genetically precocious or that the early-bearing is a consequence of a long, hot season in which these varieties are typically grown? Does anyone grow these at more northern latitudes and find that they are more precocious than other varieties? I do not grow these apples.

Great point, definitely a possible theory.

I’d probably try Liberty…it bore fruit on third year on M7 as I recall.

We don’t get much M7 where I am, is it a know precocious rootstock?

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No, M7 is not a precocious rootstock, but it’s quicker than M111.
M106 if you have good drainage is preferred…or some of the recent rootstocks from Geneva.

MM106 does well here in Oz, but we basically don’t have Geneva rootstocks unfortunately…

Aaaaa…an ‘Aussie’ then…

Some seedling trees can bear in 4 or 5 years, some take much longer. It indeed might be useful if Anna/Golden Dorsett could produce reliably from seedlings in a 5 year or quicker time frame.

Keep us informed of your experiments!

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Will do, I managed to find a decent seller of already fruit bearing Anna (and DG) so will probably start by just planting some of its next crops seeds, then look for any signs of early maturity over the next few years.
I’ll likely try to match maturity vs climate too as I live only a block from my local Bureau of Meteorology monitoring station, plus have several temp and light sensors around the area the apples will grow (and log it back to my home server).

Though I live in Australia (and Tropical Queensland at that), the specific town I live in is ~800-1000 chill units a year (though no snowfall), so it will be interesting to see if these sub 500 CU trees have any precocity.

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