Red Delicious (Malus x domestica 'Red Delicious')
Red Delicious apple trees bear fruit heavily one year and sparsely the following year. Light pink blossoms appear in April with fruit ripening in mid-September – but these tasty fruits don’t stay on the tree long at the Railyard Park!
Jonathan Apples (Malus x domestica 'Jonathan Apple'):
Jonathan Apple trees are also planted in the Cerrillos Road Orchard and are a late-ripening cultivar, producing fruit in mid-September through mid-October. The fruit produced in warm climates turns bright red when ripe, but in cooler climates like Santa Fe, the fruit has beautiful red stripes and produces fragrant white-pink blossoms. The Jonathan apple was “discovered” by Jonathan Hasbrouck in the early 1800’s in Woodstock, New York when he presented the fruit to the Albany NY Horticultural Society president.
Both Red Delicious and Jonathan apples are prized for their long shelf life of 3-6 months and can be stored at 35-40 degrees in a cool basement, garage, shed, fruit cellar or refrigerator. Both trees grow to about 25 feet tall with a spread of 25 feet and require regular irrigation and a full six hours of sunlight daily. Self-pollination does not occur in most apple species, so other apple trees must be planted nearby to allow for cross pollination. Bees, the critical link towards carrying pollen between trees, don’t travel far in between flower visits so trees must be planted less than 100 feet apart to ensure proper pollination. Currently there are 10 apple trees planted along Cerrillos Road.
Christy Lee Downs is program coordinator of the Railyard Park Conservancy.
If you'd like to support Railyard Conservancy programs, including the Outdoor Science Classroom, which hosts more than 400 elementary school students and teachers each fall to help increase science literacy at an early age, and Sand Play Saturdays, which celebrates creativity and imagination for pre-K children through nature-based play and activities led by early-childhood education specialists, click here.