Sundowner Apple Tree (Malus ‘Cripps II’)

Sundowner Apple Tree

  • Late Season
  • 300 Hours Chill Requirement
  • Crisp Apple With Fine-Texture
  • Develops Crimson Skin Over Green
  • Very Productive
  • Precocious Early Bearer
  • Extraordinarily Heat Tolerant Apple Variety
  • Delicious Fresh Eating
  • Holds Shape While Baking
  • Stores About Three Months
  • Great Fruit Tree for Warm Climates
  • Beautiful White Blooms in Spring
  • Widely Adaptable Across Much of the United States

If you have a hankering for fresh, crisp apples, but you live way down in the warmest USDA hardiness zones…this low chill variety is a perfect choice. Yes, you can grow your own apples with the productive, late season Sundowner Apple (Malus ‘Cripps II’) tree.

Developed in Western Australia, this beautiful piece of fruit doesn’t require the long winter season of dormancy. It actually thrives in long, hot summers!

It also puts on a very beautiful flower display in spring, and does need to be planted with pollination partners. Create a mini-orchard, or try your hand at high-density planting techniques.

This productive Apple tree is well worth your “learning curve”! Sundowner Apple Trees will heavily yield great-tasting, sweet fruit in the late fall and early winter months.

It develops medium-size fruit that has a bi-colored red skin with green background. Depending on the exposure to sunlight, the red may deepen over the green.

The fruit develops prominent lenticels. It has a deep-set eye, and can russet around the stalk.

Because one of the parents is Golden Delicious, and Pink Lady is one of its siblings, you can imagine the refreshing, spiced honey taste that features hints of berry. The flavor intensifies during storage.

This is a great choice if you live someplace where your winters don’t get below freezing or get cold enough to help other apple trees set. It excels in arid, hot places like Vegas and Phoenix.

How to Use Sundowner Apple Tree in the Landscape

This gorgeous tree spreads a bit, but displays strong growth and good branching with wide branch angles. It produces a good amount of fruit spurs, and is quite productive from an early age.

Thin out the branches early in the summer for the best sized and shaped fruit. The fruit is conical to square-shaped, and should be thinned to every 6 inches.

Sundowner Apple is similar in texture and flavor to its sister, Pink Lady. You will enjoy eating these apples fresh out of hand.

It holds its shape during cooking and can be used in preserves and rustic sauces. It can also be baked into pies and cobblers.

You might hear them referred to as Cripps Red. In Europe, these special low chill Apple trees are marketed as Joya Apples.

Plant a pollination partner to maximize your productivity. Watch our YouTube channel or read our blog posts on high density planting for backyard orchards.

Create a hedgerow with multiple varieties that ripen in successive waves. You’ll extend your harvest season and gain a lovely garden feature. Plant five feet apart on center, and keep them smaller with summer pruning for size control.

Have the room? Consider yourself lucky! Plant trees 20 feet apart on center and allow them to reach their mature height and spread listed in the Plant Highlights.

There is nothing so uniquely attractive as an Apple tree laden with your annual harvest. Enjoy!

Tips for Care

Plant Apple trees in full sun. It requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, and will love the morning sun best of all.

It’s best to give a spot with well-drained soil. If you have poor drainage, build a raised bed to plant it.

Ensure your Apple trees have good air circulation to help keep them clean and disease free. Don’t plant them too close to structures.

Prune in late winter, before the new growth begins. The goals are to open up the canopy to sunlight and air flow. Remember to thin out Sundowner early on for the best quality and size of fruit.

Sundowner is a perfect choice for blazing hot landscapes. This crisp, productive Apple selection is an “all arounder” with excellent flavor.

Sundowner Apple Tree (Malus ‘Cripps II’) Details

Common name Sundowner Apple Tree
Botanical name Malus 'Cripps II'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 5-11
Growth rate Medium
Height 12-15 ft.
Width 12-15 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time Late Winter
Flower color White
Leaf color Green