Sundance and Pixie Crunch - opinions?

Gurney’s / Henry Field’s have an exclusive license (at least until the plant patents run out, which is at least a few years away) to Sundance and Pixie Cruch, two of the “Co-op” varieties of disease resistant apples.

They say that these two varieties are exceptionally good tasting.

Has anyone grown these two? If so, what has been your experience?

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Cummings sells the sundance as well. I got one from them this year. Haven’t tasted it yet though.

Cummins sells them both in small quantities, which can make it a bit to get them through Cummins as they seem to sell out quite quickly.

Although I’m not sure how the licensing is structured, Gurney’s / Henry Field’s is the main licensee for retail sales.

It may be that Cummins was granted a license to sell them in small quantities on the theory that Cummins caters to a market segment that doesn’t buy very much from Gurney’s / Henry Field’s and doesn’t qualify for large wholesale purchases from the main licensed grower (a particular nursery in Washington state). In this way, the three sellers would not be competing with each other to any real extent.

I just commented about Sundance in the Disease Resistant thread:

I also have Pixie Crunch, but lost most of the tree to borers last year. I only had ~3" left over the graft union, but it is sending up some shoots, so I may yet get to try some.


Think I have one Pixie Crunch apple. Bird bait for sure.


The couple of issues I have noticed with sundance are an upright growth habit, the tendancy for a portion of the leaves to turn yellow and fall off in late May, takes a long time to bearing fruit on standard rootstock, and is a favorite tree for leafminers on my property. But it does produce a large yellow blemish free apple that tastes good.

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Masonville Orchards of Colorado occassionally has Pixie Crunch scions for sale. They sent me a stick of budwood for $3 this spring.

The Gurney’s/Henry Fields conglomerate has exclusive licensing for Pixie Crunch. They ended up sub-licensing Cummins to be able to sell the variety.

Sundance tastes horrible to me.

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I had about 10 Pixie Crunch. They were a beautiful red color even in constant heat and sun. But the fruit was very small, not all that crunchy, pretty sweet, and decent flavor. Not a bad apple but I’d rather have Ginger Gold at 5 times the size.

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My Pixie Crunch don’t quite seem to be ready yet, but a few Ginger Gold have fallen off the tree so we’re eating them. The first wasn’t much good, but after chilling for a few days they seem quite a bit better. Decent size, attractive, good crunch and juice, fair flavor. Don’t know about keeping yet. I thought State Fair, which I picked two weeks ago, was a bit better but GG is still “OK”.

I have been eating Pixie Crunch off the tree for about 3 weeks. The ones eaten in August reminded me of cardboard Red Delecious. But wait and be hold … flavor has improved tremendously. The ones eaten early this month were good, some were really good. I ate a couple that had some rot and they tasted excellent. I am not good at describing taste but the ones that were more ripe because of the rot were very good. So I decided to leave most of the fruit on the tree. I believe they will be harvested tomorrow. I’ve shared a couple with a coworker about a week ago and she liked them a lot. I’ll share some more this week with another coworker whose favorite apple is Fuji and with another whose favorite is Breaburn. I believe that I’ve found my favorite early fall apple variety. The varieties I have harvested so far this year are Pristine, Williams Pride, Earligold, Zestar, Sweet 16, Honecrisp and Summer Rambu.

The tree was planted in 2013. It is on M27 rootstock. The fruit size is medium. Just

the right size. Flesh color is beautiful amber.


Andrew, thanks for the report.

I got a few Pixie Crunch for the first time this year and loved them. So did my family members.

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I recognize that this is an old topic, but I just found it. I planted half a dozen Pixie Crunch trees from Cummins a few years ago and they fruited this past fall for the first time. I really love them. They’re small, but they’re easy to grow, the trees are easy to train and the fruit, at least this past fall, were very attractive with no blemishes of any kind. The really good news is that to me at least, the flavor was sensational. Sweeter and less tart than a Honeycrisp, but with the same crisp texture and a very nice apple flavor. I have a brother who tasted a few from my trees and he hasn’t stopped bothering me yet about them, constantly asking, “what’s the name of that apple that I liked?” (he wants to plant some too). The other thing that I noticed in my orchard is a very long harvest season. I have over 30 varieties of apples in my northern Pennsylvania orchard and this is among my two or three favorites (the others being Honeycrisp, Sweet Sixteen and maybe Cox’s Orange Pippin (I’ve only gotten a couple of fruits so far and haven’t completely decided yet)).


Pixie Crunch is truly awesome; agreed. I am planting it this spring.

Here was my first impression… here and here:

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The few Pixie’s I’ve gotten in Dallas have been great

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Yep, agreed, sensational little fruit. Mine were very productive in their first year of fruiting and I actually thinned them quite a bit, so hopefully lightning will strike twice and I’ll get a nice mess of them this fall as well.


Before this dissapears, When does pixie crunch bloom in relation to other varieties and how is its resistance to fireblight?

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Cummins nursery description has it listed as having moderate resistance to fireblight. Here is the link.

Pixie Crunch was developed by PRI and is also know as Co-op 33.

Here is chart that compares the bloom date of Co-op 33 with a bunch of different apples.

Some additional info for Co-op 33…

Brief description from PRI

Detailed cultivar release description published in HortScience

Fruit maturity chart including Co-op 33.