3/19/19: Closed for the 2019 season; will
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Our Favorite Apple Varieties for Hot Climates and
It's almost like having to choose between your
children, but we had to narrow it down to help people decide.
These are apple varieties that have been tested
in a hot and humid climate and are very suitable for hot climates
and the tropics.
The qualities we look for are apples that stay crisp and juicy
during high heat, color up well despite hot nights, have some
disease resistance, have a very low chilling-hour requirement, and
keep well without refrigeration.
Some of these apples are old-time apples from the
Deep South, and others are traditional
favorites for the tropics that have been grown there for years.
Still others are cold-climate apples that have shown remarkable
adaptability to tropic conditions. All of them are better than
anything you have tasted in the market and will be a definite
improvement over what is commonly grown in the tropics.
We could have easily added twenty more varieties
to this list. Remember; it only takes one good apple that
performs well in an area to build an entire industry around; many
fortunes have been tied to an apple variety that markets well or can
be grown best only in a certain area. We recommend that you
try a wide variety to see what does best in your particular
location. We have an additional list
1959 Bred at Kibbutz Ein Shemer in Doar Na Shomron by Abba
Stein as a cross between the local cultivars Red Hadassiya (a
plum-sized apple) and Golden Delicious. Considered the
standard in low-chilling apples, Anna is Israel's gift to the world
as it feeds half the tropical world. The showy blossoms burst
fourth in late January and every blossom sets an apple (thin
heavily). Aggressive thinners will be rewarded with humongous,
beautiful apples blushed red and yellow. Anna must be
pollinated with Dorsett Golden or Shell of Alabama to get this size.
The flesh is white, crisp, sweet, juicy, with a hint of zing; it
makes excellent apple pies. It is the first apple to be grown
by tropic orchardists, but you should only plant no more than 20% of your orchard
with it and concentrate on more profitable varieties below as shown
by this page.
Japan, 1960ís One of the better-tasting early varieties, a cross
between Jonathan and Worcester Pearmain. The medium-sized bright red
apple has a thin skin and white, crisp, juicy flesh with a hint of
strawberry flavor. Itís good for fresh eating, cooking, and drying,
which is good because it doesnít keep well. When cooked with the peels
the applesauce turns pink. Ripens late August to early September, and
hangs well on the tree allowing extended harvest time. Decent
Arkansas, recent Developed by the University of
Arkansas (a very hot and humid part of the USA), Arkcharm keeps its
quality and colors up well despite high heat. It ripens
earlier in the season and has a good sugar/acid balance and complex
flavor. It has good disease resistance but does not keep very
long and should be eaten right away; it would be good for processing
into juice or dried apples if marketing takes more than a few days.
Sold Out North Carolina,
Originated as local apple in
. Fruit begins ripening early in the season and continues for two to
three weeks. One of the best early season apples, Aunt Rachel is a
medium to large, red-striped apple covered with prominent light
dots. Very attractive with very fine flavor. No catalog listing or
background was ever found, and so this may be a very rare seedling
apple grown only in a small part of the American South (until now).
England, 1800 Bramley is the national cooking apple of
England and many will find it odd for it to be on this list, but it
has proven to be very reliable in a tropic climate. It is very
vigorous (the original 200-year-old tree is still growing and
bearing apples in Nottingham) and annual bearing. It is quite
tart until completely ripe and makes an applesauce that will about
blow your head off with an intense flavor. For an apple from
such a cool climate it sure is not bothered by the heat any,
tolerating 45 C. with no problems.
Alabama, 1960ís A sport of Red
Delight of the early 1900's, Dixie Red Delight was developed by
an amateur horticulturist, Oren T. Bolding, of Sylacauga, Alabama.
Fruit is medium to large, with red skin and yellow ground color.
Flavor is sharp, sweet, aromatic, and spicy, and improves in
storage; the closest thing to Virginia Winesap we've tasted in a hot
climate. Keeps well and improves in storage, bears heavily and
reliably, ripens late in the season and blooms late.
North Carolina, USA late 1800's
Originated from seeds of a
Limbertwig planted by J. A. Dula of Lenoir, North Carolina. It
is a strong, vigorous tree well adapted to all growing conditions.
In 1908, the NC Dept. of Agriculture recommended this variety for
lowland coastal growers (a very warm climate). Fruit is large and
slightly conical with dark-red skin overlaid with darker red
stripes. Flesh is yellowish-white, tender, crisp and juicy. Ripens
late fall to early winter.
Japan, 1962 Despite its commercial success,
few people have tasted Fuji as it was meant to be, which is sweet,
flavorful, crunchy, and ridiculously juicy. This is because it
requires a long, hot season to pump the full quota
of sugar and flavor into the orangish yellow flesh. Just because the
skin has colored up doesn't mean it is ripe, although the skin never
does really color up well. Fuji takes about 5 years to start
producing, but reliably sets a full crop every year after that; thin
hard and you'll get huge apples. Ripens late and keeps extremely well,
self-fertile. A mandatory apple for all areas; it is that good.
Smith Australia, 1868
Sprouted from a washtub of French crab apple trimmings tossed out by
an actual granny, Maria Anne Smith of the Ryde District of New South
Wales, Australia. You may be surprised if you're expecting
the homogenous, lime-green coloring like in the market, as when
ripe Granny Smith has a pinkish-orange blush on the sunny side. It needs a long,
hot season to attain the best flavor, and makes excellent pies.
The tree requires very little care.
David Arkansas, 1893
This turned out to be one of our favorite apples, and for good
reason; it was Stark Bros. Nursery's biggest producer for years and
considered tops in flavor in warm climates, proving itself very
adaptable. The apples are very hard until ripe and are
somewhat insect-resistant. It turns deep
purple, almost black and hangs late on the tree and should be picked when full color
develops. Yellow flesh, firm, crisp and juicy with a deep, dark, rich winey
flavor that matches the color, a favorite with most people who try
Australia, 1935 A Granny Smith offspring
that is also a parent of Pink Lady. A pinkish-red apple with a
distinctive horizontal white stripe on one side that ripens very
late and needs a long hot season, usually ripening two months later than
most other apples.
It is quite tart until fully ripe, when it developed a nice sweet/tart
balance. So far it has out-produced its offspring Cripp's Pink (aka
Pink Lady) and is grown in the jungles of Malaysia with good
success. The apples attain good size and are quite marketable
New York, 1966
Unrelated to the accursed Red Delicious, Mollie's Delicious is an
excellent apple for hot climates, a cross between Golden Delicious
and Red Gravenstein. Sweet, firm, crisp, and aromatic but with not
much acid. Has a beautiful red blush over yellow. Pollinator
required: Fuji, or Granny Smith; ripens mid-season, stays crisp in
the heat, keeps rather well, supposedly improves after a month in
Virginia, USA 1850 This beautiful apple originated in
Rappahannock, Virginia on the farm of Captain Charles B. Wood. It
was once described in old nursery catalogs as "the prettiest apple
that grows." Despite its attractiveness and fine flavor, the apple
never gained a following in the American South and was thought to be
lost until apple hunter Joyce Neighbors of Gadsden, Alabama, found
an old tree growing in nearby Wedowee which had been planted in the
1930's. Thanks to her efforts, this wonderful old apple is once
again available. The apple is medium to large with deep dark red
skin over a light yellow background. The yellowish flesh is crisp
with a fine sweet-tart flavor. Ripens late season.
Texas, 1965 A local family
heirloom of the Deep South, originating in Houston, Texas, an area known
more for cattle, rice, and sugar cane than apples. The apple was
first raised by Reverend Herman T. Morgan in 1965 from seeds of
Granny Smith and produced its first fruit in 1972. It is well
adapted to tropic conditions and does well wherever it's tried. Fruit is
medium to large, roundish-conical with rich pinkish-red skin. A fine
quality apple that ripens in late in the season.
the USA southern state of
Alabama, this was developed by Mr. Green Shell (born 1841). Mr. Shell had an
apple orchard in the warm climate of Escambia County, and developed an
industry around this apple, shipping boxcars of crisp, somewhat
tart, green apples north in July before other apples were ripe.
We're recommending it as a companion to Anna and Dorsett Golden, as
it blossoms and ripens with them and is their equal in vigor and
much superior to the detestable Ein Shemer, a terrible apple which
used to be though of as a pollinator for Anna.
Beauty California, USA, 1890 A byproduct of the
California gold-rush era, Sierra Beauty was discovered as a seedling high in the
Sierra Nevada mountains. Offered by nurseries for a few years, it became extinct except
as an heirloom of the Gowan Family of Philo (Mendocino County) until
"rediscovered" around 1980. Tends toward biannual bearing, so thin
heavily for more consistent crops. A beautiful apple with
striking appearance, firm texture, and is very tart until
fully ripe when it has an intense sweet-tart flavor that begs for
another bite. Ripens late in the season.
Georgia, USA, 1850ís An excellent old southern
apple noted for its long-keeping abilities for warm winter areas. It
originated before the American Civil War with a Mr. Terry of Fulton
County, Georgia, and was soon widely sold throughout Georgia and
neighboring states. Medium-sized fruit with thick, tough yellow skin
covered with stripes and splashes of red and crimson. The white
flesh is crisp, sweet/tart and juicy. This is one of the most
prolific varieties we have, setting a huge crop the second year.
Make sure to thin heavily for the best quality. Ripens
late in the season
over a long period.
County King Sold
New York, 1804
A large apple with a yellow skin is flushed a
pale-red with darker red stripes and white or russet dots. The yellow flesh is coarse, crisp, and tender, with a
aromatic flavor. Vigorous and spreading, the tree grows naturally small. The limbs
grow nearly horizontal with many crossing branches. A pollen sterile
triploid, it will not pollinate other trees or itself. it has a tendency to watercore,
where the flesh becomes translucent and very sweet. Ripens
very late in the season; hangs on the tree until it's past its
prime, so keep an eye on it.
Wickson Crabapple- A big taste in an itty-bitty package.
People think it is cute until they bite into it, and then find out
that this little apple has a big-apple flavor. It has a crisp white flesh with a clean, powerful sweet-tart taste.
The tree is prolific and has showy white blossoms. Purported to
make killer cider, but we enjoyed it for fresh eating. We've tried
this in different parts of the country, and ours are by far the best
we've tasted. Outstanding.
Indiana, 1985 A
product of the Purdue, Rutgers, and University of Illinois (PRI)
breeding program of disease-resistant apples, Williams' Pride is
field immune to scab and cedar apple rust and highly resistant to
fire blight, moderately resistant to powdery mildew. Despite very
warm nights it still develops a deep red color, approaching purple.
It ripens in hot weather and is amazing for the quality the golden
yellow, crisp, juicy, spicy flesh attains, keeping quite well for a
early-season apple It bears early and heavily even on vigorous
rootstocks. The tree has a good growth habit with wide branch angles
and lots of spurs to bear heavily.
Apples in the Tropics?
Growing Apples in the City
Book- Growing Apples in the
Our Apple Varieties
Benchgraft Planting Instructions
Cider Press Plans
Shipping Outside California
Orchard Consulting / Import-Export Services
Ordering Apple Trees
Wonderful in Complexity
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