Apples Near Phoenix?

My nephew wants to know if there are any quality apple varieties he can grown in Chandler, Arizona just outside Phoenix, zone 9b I think. Any ideas? Gets very,very hot there.

Yes; King David, Lady Williams, Sundowner, Dixie Red Delight, Sierra Beauty, Putty Henck, and Terry Winter all ripen late enough to miss the worst of the heat. He needs to have his soil tested first however, as any lack of nutrients or imbalance of pH will kill off the tree in that heat.


The old reliable standards here in Phoenix are the summer apples. Anna, Dorsett Golden, and Tropic Sweet. Both Anna and Dorsett are fine quality but do have a somewhat short window of ripening. Tropic Sweet is a really excellent variety that is wildly popular with my customers and anyone I have try it. All three of these are summer ripening.

Fall apples like the ones applenut is recommending is a mixed bag here in my experience, but im not claiming to know it all. Many are very slow growing, have very odd growth forms, and produce small apples from what ive seen. There is some work being done here on rootstock that is hoped to help with those issues, but its too early to say if its going to be the cure. M111 has been the go to rootstock here and is still very reliable for summer apples.

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Thanks Kevin and Amadio! Should he shoot for 6.5 pH? If I were to graft on their Phoenix apple trees, when is the right time for whip and tongue or bark grafts?

6.5 is impossible in our in high calcium carbonate soils. pH is generally around 8.2, efforts to lower it wont yield any permanent results because of the massive buffering capacity of the carbonates. And thats proven to be ok. Whats needed in our soils are attention to rootstock that are not phased by our challenging conditions. I preach this everywhere I go, lots of places in this nation you can plunk whatever root you want in the ground and its fine. Not Phoenix. M111 works pretty well here for summer apples. It shows some nutritional deficiency at times (likely iron or zinc) but its usually not serious nor does it impact growth or production. I usually hit the apples with a foliar twice a season and it helps. But its really not necessary.

The major grafting time for apples (and everything else) is march. While it is possible to graft is the fall, most people dont have viable dormant wood still. Budding can be done most of the growing season.