Apples For Hot Climates
We often think of apples being grown and harvested where fall days are crisp and cool and indeed lots are. However many apples can be successfully grown in climates that are not often considered “Apple Country”. Below we have showcased a selection of apples that have proven their worth and are very suited to hot climates with very low “chill hours”. Some are old time favorites from the Gulf Coast and Deep South, many have been tested in Orange County, Ca and several have been proven producers in the Phoenix area. We have listed the codes by each CA=Southern California, GC= Deep South, Phx = Phoenix Metro area to help you know where they have done well. While no tree is guaranteed to produce with perfect performance, these have all shown to be suitable and worth trying. There are many others that have fruited successfully in these locations, but maybe show lower quality taste or texture than normal or for some other reason do not perform as well as the ones we list and we are not growing those for resale.
The concept and term chill hours has been widely referenced and often used without a clear understanding. For our take on this click here.
For the season 2020 the following varieties are being sold exclusively through a partnership with:
We have listed these for informational purposes and recommend you contact AZ Diamond Acres for availability.
Arap Kizi is an old Turkish variety that translates to “Arabian Girl”. Little is known here about the local apples even though Turkey is one of the major producers world wide. Mostly their commercial orchards are switching to more familiar American types. Arap Kizi is a stout round apple, dark red with firm flesh that is slightly acidic and keeps well. Studies have shown it's antioxidant activity, total phenolics and flavenoid content is far higher (easily twice) than many more familiar apples. Given its background, we feel it is a good choice for hot and dry climates.
CAROLINA RED JUNE
Discovered or perhaps rediscovered in North Carolina 1848, Carolina Red June appears to be older, maybe from the 1700’s. A long-time Southern favorite, it has long been highly valued for its early ripening qualities. While most early varieties do not develop a full balance of flavor this one does and is one of the best of the early apples. An attractive, small, deep red over yellow apple with flesh that is brisk, juicy, white stained red with a delicious subacid taste. Great in hot climates, CRJ has an unusual habit of occasionally blooming twice in the same season, producing a second somewhat smaller crop of apples in the fall. Very productive, the fruit ripens over a period of several weeks and grows well in many different soil types GC
This tree was discovered in the tiny town of Bolinas, CA. At the time nobody could identify this wonderful apple variety, so it was named Cinnamon Spice for its rich, distinct cinnamon flavor, (tastes similar to an apple pie. It has a spicy, cinnamon-like flavor, particularly in the skin. The apple is sweet with enough tartness so that it’s not overly sweet. A medium size, wine-red fruit with some yellow hue. Tree of medium vigor, with upright shoots. The Cinnamon Spice does well in many hot southern states. After investigation by experts it was found to be the variety named Laxtons Fortune, one of a number of new varieties developed by the Laxton Brothers Nursery in the UK in the early 1900s.The famous Cox Orange Pippen is one of the parents explaining the excellent flavor. CA
Originally from Idaho it is a Northern Spy and Delicious cross. Named for its dense flesh not its flavor, Coconut Crunch is a large yellow apple with 2/3 red blush having a sweet, spicy, classic flavor. In hot climates it is not as dense and keeps in storage as long as 1 year. It has been noted that in areas with irregularly accumulated chill it blooms over a long period of time, starting in the middle of April all the way into June, at which point it's not unusual to see flowers next to marble size apples. Grown in the tropics it can have have two bloom periods, the main crop in the spring, and then a second, much smaller crop in the fall. CA
'Crimson Gold' is a modern cultivar that it is a cross between a crabapple and a domesticated apple . While slightly smaller in size, it makes up for it by being an excellent eating and juicing apple. It is one of the last apples to be developed by the American breeder Albert Etter in 1944, who named it 'Little Rosybloom'. He died in 1950 before completing the patent filing, and it was later rediscovered and renamed as 'Crimson Gold'. The skin of 'Crimson Gold' has a yellow background that it is covered with a ruby red. Flesh is crisp, with a balance of sweet and tart. While delicious for fresh eating, and also good for baking, retains its shape and texture even with high temperature. CA
Quite possibly the oldest apple cultivar in existence, dating from around 450 AD. A streaky dull orange-red blush over a shade that is perhaps slightly more yellow than green, off-white flesh that is dense and crisp, on the inside. Having delicate flavors, it is as well balanced as one could wish, mixing cane sugar with a crisp tart quality. The Romans were skilled in the ancient art of grafting. Thus when this apple was found they cut budwood from the tree and spliced it into rootstock of other trees. The fruit was then grown in what is now northern Italy. They liked it well enough to bring to Britain, where it spread, and a thousand years or so later it traveled across the Atlantic.
These trees, are of the same biological material as the tree that grew in Italy fifteen hundred years ago. The root of that tree died sometime before the final fall of Rome, but its branches will live for as long as we cultivate them. It is rapidly going extinct in Europe and Britain.
Remember this apple is not a descendent of the original Roman tree . It is rather the same wood, a living part of the exact same tree and for that reason should be preserved and grown.