The golden russet apple is a long-time favorite for apple cider, but can also be dried and eaten fresh as well. The tree that grows this versatile fruit will take some care, as it is not generally considered to be a low-maintenance apple variety. Therefore, owners of this apple tree will need to ensure there is adequate sunlight, water and pollination, as well as be vigilant in protecting the disease from a number of different ailments.
Golden russet apple trees require a full amount of sunlight in order to grow, fruit and bloom properly. Therefore, they are placed near a building, they should be near a corner or on the side of the building that is constantly facing the sun throughout the summer growing season. If planting near a building, remember to give the tree some space. It grows from 10 to 30 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide.
A number of reasons exist for why it is important to consider both the bloom time and harvest time. The bloom time is important for pollination. Golden russet apple trees bloom in mid spring to early summer. The harvest is typically in the fall in or near October. As such, it is considered a late ripening apple tree.
Though the golden russet apple tree is capable of self pollination, the best results tend to come from using another type of apple tree for the task. Another apple tree should be used for this task, but not golden delicious, which do not pollinate as well with the golden russet apple tree. Red delicious and galas are often two popular species for cross pollination. Whatever tree is used, it must have a bloom period that overlaps the golden russet apple tree.
Golden russet apple trees can be growing in zones 3 through 10, but often do better in zones 4 through 9. The trees may be able to live in the extreme zones listed at both ends of the spectrum, but there could be more factors that stress out the trees at these locations and therefore the harvest may not be as plentiful. Also, the trees require moderate watering, so if the soil stays dry for too long, that could be another stress point. Irrigation may be required.
The golden russet is considered a disease resistant tree, but some apple diseases can affect it. Fungus such as apple rust and black rot can be a problem, as can aphids, the apple tree borer and apple maggots, among others. Often, a fungicide or insecticide, or both, may be needed to treat the plants. This should be done in the spring as leaves bud, but do not spray insecticides during the bloom period or you may kill pollinators such as bees.