honeycrisp apple trees

MadaileyMay 8, 2014

i just bought my first two honeycrisp trees in memorial of my uncle. i am terrified to plant them after reading some posts. one of them will be in a north facing back yard and the other will be out in the open on an acreage. any tips offered will be much appreciated.

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Fence them well with fence that will last 5-10 yrs. keep them watered. Wrap the truncks to keep rabbits/voles from girdling them over the winter, especially if you have extended snow cover. Full sun with open space is best. You may need more than one tree per location if you expect fruit. They need a pollinator to fruit. Those are the big things, assuming your soil is decent, well drained. Small wip trees seem to establish better than large root balled "pretty" trees over the long haul. Keep the suckers down immediately when you see them. They suck the life out of your large stem and can take over if left unchecked. Enough for now. Keep reading!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:19PM
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My Honey Crisp has given me a lot of grief due mainly to my ignorance. It was one of my first fruit trees. Rookie's mistake a plenty. For example, buying a potted tree without knowing its rootstock, not knowing about pruning until the tree has gotten quite out of hand, etc.

Apple trees needs a different variety to cross pollinate. Two of the same variety you have do not work. If you or your neighborhood have crab apple trees, that'll work.

Plant them in full sun. Start reading old posts on this forum. Don't be afraid to ask again.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 8:40PM
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you need to read about cedar apple rust and take preventative measures or you will loose the one on the acreage for sure. You won't get apples if you don't have another variety to pollinate. It will take 4-8 year for apple on HC anyway. Something like a Fireside is a good one to mate with. You can buy the Fireside next year and it will still flower before the HC. Better to buy trees bare root mail order then at a store in a pot

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:43PM
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alan haigh

Plant them in well drained soil and make sure they have adequate moisture during the growing season. Check there progress as often as reasonably possible. Stop worrying, you already have the trees, as issues arise come back here and we'll address them.

Any possible foliar diseases will evidence themselves very soon- better to find out what you need to control before blanketing the trees with fungicide proactively.

You might want to check for simple instructions about training young apple trees- the internet is full of helpful pictorials on the subject.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 5:47AM
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I planted honey crisp May 2007 and rootstck is according to the label, M9. two years ago I saw about 8 blossoms and had 2-3 fruit start to mature. I think I picked one half diseased bug eaten apple. last year I had a good number of blossoms and picked maybe 10 mangey looking fruits. Taste was great however.. This year I hope to have many blossoms and many fruit.

Lessons I learned: you can screw this up and delay fruiting by not knowing what you are doing(pruning wise). However, not likely to kill the tree. Due to strange reasons, I did not fertilize for a number of years. Once I fertilized, the tree took off. Coincidence or not? I doubt it. Spray is also important, something I still have not mastered. Though my fruit looked horrible one bite told you it was a honey crisp.

Plant the trees, do your best, and keep at it. Great advice given so far. One more thing, your soil may have a "favorite rootstock". Out of M7, M9, M26, the M26 appears to be best for me. This may have to do with the actual tree variety though I am not certain. I also noticed pears do much much much better in my soil than anything else. The OHxF either 87 or 97 have been winning combinations in my orchard. 33 is also pretty good. Maybe more than you wanted to hear but hopefully some good info.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:01AM
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thank you so soooo much for all of your help. i am deffinately glad i asked

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:57AM
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Hi, I'm in downstate NY and I also plan on planting a honeycrisp tree this fall, along with a crabapple to pollinate. I am a total novice. I was wondering if any crabapple would work, as there are a few I prefer due to size, color, etc. I was wondering if there is a particularly good online supplier from whom to order both the trees, as I'm sure that makes a difference. Also wondering if there is anything else to take into consideration before ordering the trees. Appreciate the advice in this forum on pruning the honeycrisp, which I'll be sure to do. I have a nice compost heap and assume it would be a good idea to use in the planting holes. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:29PM
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I guess I've just been inordinately lucky, because I've not had any issue with my Honeycrisp. My experience with it tells me it has some resistance to CAR, is not excessively bothered by insects (moreso than others), fruits heavily, grows rather nicely and in my opinion is without question the best tasting apple I've ever eaten and I've eaten a lot.

It does as cckw has said before tend to get a bit ratty looking towards seasons end...small concession for such an awesome apple. They are also prone to biennial bearing and mine has required thinning some years. I tried last year to not thin in an effort to get smaller apples (HC is a big apple for little kids). That didn't work out at all as they seemed to size up as though they had been thinned. The whole top broke out of mine under the weight of the fruit. That was my fault and even though I seen it coming I didn't act quickly enough. Made the tree ugly as all get out, but it just keeps cranking out apples.

Madaily: I've always like the idea of memorial trees, they are a great and useful form of remembrance. Not getting them in the ground will be the first and biggest mistake you could possibly make. Get it in the ground, you can worry about pollinators and such later. Chances are somewhat reasonable you'll get some fruit without planting a pollinator anyway, but it IS something you want to do. I'd guess there is most likely something around your neighborhood that will pollinate it at least marginally being in Z3.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

If you're zone 3 then it wouldn't be a good idea, you can end up loosing them,..unless you can grow them very protected close to the house,..even then, ripening out in zone 3 is another problem.

A good hardy tree would be Norland, early nice tasty, not a keeping apple, second Joice would be a later, good eating and keeping is the Norkent.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 2:00AM
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I wondered about that Konrad, but they are listed to Z3, however I think Univ. of Minnesota says Z4-6 I think...maybe even 4-5.
Anyway you would certainly know. I think I might underestimate just how cold it gets in Z3. On the bright side...just think of all you save in air conditioning.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:50AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

You're right,
I have tried it out on the farm for the last 15 years or so, ..still have one small branch, [top graft] on a tree, protected spot and higher elevation, never had fruits. For about 3 years I have it at home, [in town] doing allot better,..still waiting for fruits. I know of some people growing it in the city, probalby more a zone 4, allot better but some years they can't ripen it out.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:42AM
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That's a shame konrad...it sure is an awesome apple. The very best imo.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 12:42PM
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