Malus Domestica Ginger Gold – Ultimate Apple Variety Guide

Ripe Ginger Gold apples on tree

Pronunciation:

Introduction

The most common name for this plant in the USA is ‘Ginger Gold Apple’. It is a variety of the domestic apple (Malus domestica) and does not have widely recognized regional names, but is commonly referred to by its cultivar name, ‘Ginger Gold’.

Classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Angiosperms
  • Class: Eudicots
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Genus: Malus
  • Species: Malus domestica

Description

The ‘Ginger Gold’ is a type of apple tree known for its early-season fruit. It is a deciduous tree grown primarily for its commercial value due to the apples it produces. The ‘Ginger Gold’ apple is prized for its sweet flavor with a slightly tart finish and its firm, crisp texture. It is not known to be an invasive or problematic plant, but rather a cultivated variety for consumption and sale.

Size

The ‘Ginger Gold’ apple tree can reach heights of 12 to 16 feet with a similar spread when fully mature.

Leaves

The leaves are simple, ovate with a serrated margin, and typically dark green in color.

Flower

The flowers are white to pink and bloom in spring. They are hermaphroditic and are pollinated by bees.

Fruit

The fruit is medium to large in size with a yellow to greenish-gold skin. It is one of the first apples to ripen in the fall, usually in late August or early September.

Stem

The stem is woody and supports the branches which bear both the leaves and fruit.

Cultivation and Care

Planting

‘Ginger Gold’ apple trees should be planted in the early spring or late fall. They require cross-pollination, so it is important to plant them near other apple varieties that bloom at the same time.

Soil Preference

This apple variety prefers well-drained, loamy soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.

Watering

Regular watering is important, especially during the tree’s first few years and the growing season. The soil should be kept moist, but not waterlogged.

Sun Requirements

Full sun is ideal for ‘Ginger Gold’ apple trees, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.

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Pruning

Pruning should be done in late winter when the tree is dormant. Use clean, sharp pruning shears or a saw for larger branches. Remove any dead or diseased wood, thin out crowded branches to allow light and air to penetrate the canopy, and shape the tree to encourage strong structure.

Propagation

Propagation is typically done through grafting onto rootstocks to ensure the characteristics of the ‘Ginger Gold’ apples are maintained.

Health & Safety

The ‘Ginger Gold’ apple tree is not known to be poisonous or toxic to humans, dogs, or cats. The fruit is edible and safe when consumed. The tree does not have thorns or spines, and it is not known to cause contact dermatitis or be otherwise dangerous.

Pests and Problems

Common pests include apple maggots (Rhagoletis pomonella), codling moths (Cydia pomonella), and aphids (Aphidoidea spp.). These pests can damage the fruit and foliage, reducing the yield and quality of the apples. Apple scab (caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis) and fire blight (caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora) are also known issues. These diseases can be managed with proper cultural practices and, if necessary, the use of fungicides or bactericides. Regular monitoring and timely intervention are key to maintaining a healthy ‘Ginger Gold’ apple tree.

Caresheet Data

General Information

Plant Name:malus domestica ginger gold
Etymology:Malus: Latin for apple.
Domestica: Latin for ‘domesticated’ or ‘of the household’.
Ginger Gold: Cultivar name, not part of scientific etymology. Named after Ginger Harvey, who discovered the apple on her family’s farm.
Common Name:Ginger Gold Apple
Genus:Malus
Species:domestica
Family:Rosaceae

Plant Characteristics

Height:12-15 ft / 3.7-4.6 m / 144-180 in / 365.76-457.2 cm
Width and Spread:Width/Spread: 12-15 ft / 3.7-4.6 m / 144-180 in / 365-457 cm
Plant Type:Fruit Tree
Habit/Form:Deciduous tree
Leaf Type:Simple, alternate
Leaf Arrangement:Alternate
Leaf Shape:Ovate to elliptic
Leaf Margin:Serrate
Leaf Color:Green
Fragrance:Yes; mildly sweet with a hint of spice.
Stem Description:Woody, upright, branching
Stem Is Aromatic:Yes
Texture:Firm, crisp
Leaf Feel:Medium texture, smooth margin
Leaf Length:7-10 cm
Leaf Description:Medium-sized, ovate to round, green, serrated margins
Hairs Present:No

Cultivation

Light Requirements:Full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily)
Soil Preference:Well-drained, loamy soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0
Water Requirements:Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Fertilizer Requirements:Nitrogen: 1/10 pound per year of tree age; Phosphorus: 0.05 pounds per year of tree age; Potassium: 0.10 pounds per year of tree age; Calcium: 1-1.5 pounds per year; Magnesium: 0.2-0.5 pounds per year;
Pruning Requirements:Prune annually during dormancy; remove dead, diseased, or crossing branches; thin to allow sunlight and air circulation.
Seed Germination Time:7-14 days
Display/Harvest Time:Late August to early September
Fruit/Seed Production:Fruit production
Growth Rate:Moderate
Growth Habit:Deciduous tree
Root System Type:Fibrous root system
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Flower and Fruit Information

Fruit Type:Pome
Fruit Description:Medium-sized, yellow-skinned apple with a slight greenish tint, crisp texture, and sweet-tart flavor.
Flower Color:Yellowish-green
Flower Shape:Rosaceous
Flower Inflorescence:Corymb-like clusters
Flowering Season:Late spring to early summer
Bloom Duration:4-5 days per flower, but the overall bloom period for the tree can last 1-2 weeks depending on weather conditions.

Tolerance and Hardiness

Drought Tolerance:Moderate
Frost Tolerance:-25°F (-32°C)
Heat Tolerance:USDA Hardiness Zones 5-8
Wind Tolerance:Moderate
Shade Tolerance:Moderate
Salt Tolerance:Moderate
Soil Compaction Tolerance:Moderate
USDA Plant Hardiness Zones:4-8
Photoperiod Sensitivity:Moderate to high sensitivity

Wildlife and Landscape

Pollinator Attraction:Yes; bees, including honeybees and native bee species.
Wildlife Value:Attracts birds; provides food for wildlife.
Problematic Insects:Codling moth (Cydia pomonella), Apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella), European red mite (Panonychus ulmi), Apple aphid (Aphis pomi), Woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum)
Allelopathic Properties:No
Habitat Enhancement:Malus domestica ‘Ginger Gold’ provides food for pollinators, stabilizes soil with its root system, and creates a microhabitat for various organisms.
Erosion Control Potential:Low; primarily grown for fruit, not erosion control.
Landscape Location:Temperate climates, full sun, well-drained soil
Landscape Theme:Full sun, well-drained soil, temperate climate, orchard, cottage garden, edible garden
Design Feature:No, Malus domestica ‘Ginger Gold’ is primarily grown for its fruit, not as a design feature.
Ethnobotanical Significance:Culinary use as fresh fruit and in cooking, local economic importance in apple-growing regions.
Naturalization Ability:Moderate
Companion Planting Suitability:Alliums, Nasturtiums, Marigolds, Chives, Garlic

Health and Safety

Edibility:Yes
Edible Parts:Fruit
Toxicity:No
Poison Parts of Plant:nan
Toxic to Humans:No
Toxic to Cats:No
Toxic to Dogs:No
Causes Contact Dermatitis:No known common association
Air Purification Qualities:None documented
Medicinal Properties:Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Thorniness or Spikiness:No

Sources and Additional Reading

  1. Malus domestica ‘Ginger Gold’ – North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant … (plants.ces.ncsu.edu)
  2. Malus domestica – North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox (plants.ces.ncsu.edu)
  3. Apple Malus x domestica ‘Ginger Gold’ – Dave’s Garden (davesgarden.com)
  4. Malus domestica ‘Ginger Gold’ Apple | Garden Center Marketing (www.gardencentermarketing.com)
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