Transplanted northerners, such as Bonnie and I, miss apples so much that we will pay a premium price for them at the store where they are brought in from colder areas. Most apples only bear fruit after a cold dormant period. Within the last few years there have been some important breakthroughs in the development of apples for subtropical conditions. A two year old orchard at the southern tip of Florida is now bearing fruit that is reportedly comparable to northern apples. I do not know the limits to which its range can be pushed.
This apple, called the Golden Dorsett, was discovered when a woman in the Bahamas planted seed from a northern apple, apparently not knowing that one “never” produces good fruit from apple seed. The resulting tree bore fruit and has become the parent of a new variety of apple. Two other new varieties have come from Israel, the Anna (large, red, crisp and tart) and the Ein Shemer (smaller, round, sweeter). I have heard reports of a commercial apple orchard in Costa Rica. (Can our Costa Rican readers enlighten me on this)?
These new varieties of apples could become an important, high-value cash crop near cities with large foreign populations or with tastes for foreign dishes. I am seeking information on any trials of these apples in tropical countries. If you want to try them yourself I will try to find a source (they are relatively scarce) and arrange to have them shipped to you. You can pay ECHO in advance. December and January are the best months for shipping because dormant trees from northern Florida can be obtained then.
Price, M.L. 1981. Apples in Warm Climates?. ECHO Development Notes no. 1