Sundowner Apple Tree

Availability: Out of stock

Top-Rated, Heat Tolerant 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.

Order Sundowner Apple Tree today, especially if you live in a warmer winter climate. We know you'll be pleased to have access to a fresh supply of homegrown, healthy apples!

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!

#ProPlantTips 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. Order today!

Sundowner Apple Tree Frequently Asked Questions

When to Plant Sundowner Apple Trees

Planting Bareroot trees as soon as you can dig a hole in spring and until hot weather, the earlier the better. Plant container Apple trees throughout the growing season with complete success - that is the benefit of container plants - to extend the planting season. Your County Agricultural Extension Office is a great resource for first and last frost dates in your area.

How to Plant Sundowner Apple Trees

Dig a large hole only as deep as needed to accommodate the bareroot or container root ball, and twice as wide. Add Nature Hills Root Booster to speed root establishment. Remove the pot or bag and situate it into the hole so the top of the soil (soil line if bareroot), is level with the new location's soil being careful not to plant too deep. Water in again very well and backfill with the same soil you dug up, tamping down gently to ensure there are no air pockets.

Top off with a 3-4 inch thick layer of Arborist mulch. Consider staking your tree to keep its trunk growing straight for the first year to ensure it stands tall against strong winds and drifting snow.

When to Prune Sundowner Apple Trees

Trim off any broken branches from delivery as soon as you take them out of the box. Prune and trim apple trees while dormant, in late winter or early spring, before you see new growth.

How to Prune Sundowner Apple Trees

Dormant prune to:

  • Remove any double leaders or narrow crotch angles
  • Eliminate any crossing branches
  • Thin interior branching and leave the fruiting spurs and strong branches in place opening up the canopy
  • Branching at least 24-36 inches above the ground

Prune Apple trees in the summer to:

  • Control size and shape by reducing the length of longer new growth on vigorous trees
  • Remove water sprouts on the main trunk or older branches in the crown
  • Remove suckers at the base of the trunk
  • Thin fruit during heavy years on established trees

How to Care for Sundowner Apple Trees

Growing an apple tree is easy when proper soil, good drainage, attention to moisture, and regular fertility are maintained. Once you've chosen an apple tree that works for your climate, in the size you need for your landscape, and its pollinator (if needed), then you've accomplished half the battle!

  • Apple trees do best in full sun and well-drained soil
  • Water your apple trees when it gets dry - especially during the fruit production stage, and drought periods to keep it stress-free
  • Use arborists' wood chips to mulch over the roots of your apples and have your soil tested to see what your soil may be lacking before adding fertilizers
  • Maintenance pruning and shaping

Apple trees will tolerate a wide range of soils, so long as water and nutrients are not limited and the pH level is adequate.

How to Fertilize Sundowner Apple Trees

For the first year, water alone is most important. It is always best to get a soil test to see what your soil is lacking before adding more fertilizers. Once established, a fertilizer routine may be beneficial. We do offer some excellent slow-release organic options, applied according to the package directions.

Fruit trees need more phosphate and it's possible to apply too much nitrogen which affects the soil's pH. Test soil acidity or alkalinity using a pH Tester.

Fertilize in spring when you first see new growth emerging.

  • Don't overdo it
  • Phosphates are your friends
  • Pay attention to pH in areas with extremely high or low soil pH
  • Follow the directions

Sundowner Apple Tree Pollinating Info

Sundowner is not self-fruiting and needs a pollinating partner. Pair with one of these varieties:

Harvest Times for Sundowner Apple Trees

Sundowner’s are typically ready to harvest in October into November.

Early-Season? Mid-Season? Late-Season? The terminology can be confusing for new apple tree growers. Weather, climate and your tree determine when it's ripe.

For Apples:

  • Early-season is usually June-July
  • Mid-season can be August-September
  • Late-season can be from late September-November

The growing season consists of spring, summer, and fall, and varies with climate and weather. Areas with longer growing seasons in the warmer hardiness zones can greatly affect the harvest times for each particular apple variety grown in your area. Learn which growing zone you are in.

What Shipping Options Do You Offer? works closely with our growers and nursery professionals to ensure we ship when it is most appropriate for your area. Our goal is to deliver the hardiest plants by avoiding extreme high and low temperatures. Check out our shipping schedule for more information and to learn our wills and won'ts when it comes to shipping plants. Find your Sundowner Apple Tree for sale here at!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
5 Now
6 Now
7 Now
8 Now
9 Now
10 Now
11 Now

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Sundowner Apple Tree Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-11
Growing Zones 5-11
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Malus 'Cripps II'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 12-15 feet
Mature Spread 12-15 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Green
Foliage Green
Harvest Time Late Season
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Late Winter
Fragrant Yes