Pixie Crunch apples are the delightful little gems of the apple world. Weighing in at a snack size of about 2 1/2 inches, the fruit is just the right size for little hands, making them a perfect kid size, go to treat.
These tiny beauties are super crunchy, very sweet, juicy, and full of flavor. You will love them and will love that your munchkins enjoy eating all that fresh fruit too. Sweeter than Honeycrisp with a slight hint of tartness, you will be gobbling them up a few at a time. There is nothing better than a sweet, crisp apple plucked and eaten right from the tree.
The Pixie Crunch Apple Story
The Pixie Crunch is a hybrid apple that was developed by the Purdue, Rutgers, Illinois Co Op, Apple Breeding Program. This little gem was introduced to the United States market in 1993. Pixie Crunch is trademarked by Purdue University, so grafting is a violation of that trademark. However, enjoying these flavorful apples are your reward for growing this crunchy apple treat.
The Pixie Crunch apple (Malus domestica “‘Co-op 33’) is a cross between non-named, numbered varieties but proudly has the Golden Delicious and Rome apples in it’s lineage.
How To Grow Your Pixie Crunch Apple Tree
Pixie Crunch apple trees grow best in zones 5-8. They need full sun with well drained soil.
Their growth habit is precocious and they can get up to 12 to 15 feet tall with a standard variety. When grown on dwarf stock, their growth is more manageable at about 10 feet.
Harvest begins mid season, but can run to late mid season depending on your growing zone.
Since they are prone to Cedar Apple Rust, a solid 6 hours of direct, full sun, particularly morning sun, and good air circulation is highly recommended.
Your Pixie Crunch apple tree will reward you with a sweet flavor and delightful little apple bites within 2 to 3 years. Time to jump on the apple season bandwagon with a little backyard horticulture for fun and deliciousness.
Landscaping With Your Pixie Apple Tree
The Pixie Crunch apple tree lends itself to multiple landscaping options in your home orchard or garden. With varying tree heights and a wide adaptability (zones 5 -8), You need to consider planting several of these fruit trees for Spring 2021.
Used as an edible ornamental plant, they work beautifully as an accent tree. They can be used either as centerpiece in your garden landscape or a stand alone in your yard. They make a thick, green scape barrier plant along your property line as a living fence. Espaliered along a fence or garden boarder, these fruit trees provide a pretty backdrop. Alternatively, consider using the Pixie Crunch as a specimen plant marking the entry to your fruit tree orchard.
The Pixie Crunch is sold as a standard and dwarf specimen. Since they are not prone to messy fruit drop, the dwarf variety is perfect to plant in a container. A 20-gallon or more container will be a good home for your Pixie Crunch apple tree.
To get the most out of your apple trees, some pruning is required. Pruning helps to keep your trees’ growth in check, increases air circulation, sun exposure, wards off disease, which in turn, produces a larger harvest.
Prune at different times of year for the optimum plant control. Mid summer, you should prune mature trees for height control. You can keep your Pixie Crunch apple tree at around 6 to 7 feet tall for easy handpicking. At that height, many people can harvest without hauling out a ladder.
Prune in late winter to shape your tree and wrestle its growth rate into submission. This is the best time to shape buy pruning cross branches, opening up the interior of the tree, and corralling the shape of this vigorous grower. Pixie Crunch apple trees have a tendency toward a spreading habitat punctuated with leggy branching. Ruthless pruning will encourage healthy new growth.
Apple Tree Pollination
Your Pixie Crunch apple tree requires another tree for pollination. Part of pollination group 4, it’s not a self pollinator. It is, however, pollination friendly.
Good options for cross pollination include Sundance, Liberty, Gala, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious varieties
Please note, that the Pixie Crunch apple tree has biennial tendencies if over cropped.
Mulching Your Apple Trees
Apple trees love well drained soil, but need to keep their roots cool. Mulching is the perfect solution. Select a mulch that is organic and from a trusted source. Organic mulch mimics the natural environment and provides your fruit tree with a healthy base. Avoid mulches that are treated with chemicals that may end up damaging your trees.
Lay your mulch about 2 – 4 inches thick around the base of the tree with a 3 foot ring out from the main trunk. Take good care to keep the mulch out of direct contact with the tree trunk. Leave several inches of space between the trunk and the mulch to avoid tree rot.
Fruit Trees And Diseases
The Pixie Crunch is a modern, disease resistant apple tree.
It offers excellent resistance to scab. It has good general disease resistance to fireblight and mildew, so these are issues you need to keep an eye out for.
Cedar Apple Rust can be a troublesome issue. Organically fighting off apple rust is accomplished with a organic fungicide like Bonide 811 Copper Fungicide. A side benefit is in addition to fighting off apple rust, it will protect against powdery mildew.
Health Benefits Of Eating Apples
Why do you see farmers markets popping up in every city and town – because we know the benefits of eating fresh, local, and seasonal produce. Growing our own fruit trees gives us control over pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers that many mega fruit producers need to use to ensure a bumper crop. Besides, there is nothing like the flavor of a fresh picked apple.
The best way to control what you eat, is to grow your own. Growing apple trees takes a little bit of time and practice, but the rewards come back exponentially.
According to Everyday Health there are at least 7 health benefits of eating apples
- They may lower high cholesterol and blood pressure
- The high fiber can aid in digestion
- The can support a healthy immune system
- They are a friendly fruit for diabetics
- They are loaded with antioxidants
- Aid in weight loss
- May help prevent Alzheimer’s
An apple a day, keeps the doctor away. Old adages are sometimes actually pretty accurate.
Eating an apple like the Pixie Crunch where the natural sugar satisfies your sweet tooth, you can cut out adding extra refined white sugar to your diet. Consider adding an apple to your daily menu for a healthy diet.
Cooking With A Pixie Crunch Apple
The sweet little taste test winner is perfect for fresh eating picked from the tree, you will be blown away by their flavor. Additionally, it works well in many apple recipes. Due to its high natural sugar content, you can use less sugar in your tried and true apple recipes and still bake a delicious dessert. The Pixie Crunch flesh becomes tender when cooked making it a sensations baking apple. Time to try out a few no sugar pie recipes!
In many areas you can begin harvest in late August, and has an extended harvest time, so you can have fresh picked apples for your best recipes over the course of a month or two. Another advantage of this sweet red gem is its a good keeper. You can store it in the crisper for 1 – 2 months, thereby extending the season.
Check out our collection of The 18 Best Apple Muffin Recipes and give your favorite one a try.
Get Your Apple Orchard Started Today
Purchase your Pixie Crunch Apple Tree with confidence at Nature Hills Nursery. Don’t forget to pick up a cross pollinator like this Gala Apple Tree while you are filling your shopping cart for spring planting. Using a preferred vendor with shipping schedules set to your time zone and excellent customer service, is the best way to purchase your apple trees.
The Pixie Cruch apple tree is an excellent variety for first-time fruit tree growers.