Honeycrisp apple tree in Calgary?

ostrich(3a AB)June 13, 2012

I am wondering if Honeycrisp would be a good choice for my backyard in Calgary?

I did a search and found only a few threads on Honeycrisp in this forum. So if anyone has any experience with it please let me know!

Essentially, I am looking for an apple tree that will reliably produce good sized red apples that are sweet and crispy. I love the flavour and texture of Honeycrisp apples that I get from the grocery stores but I just don't know if this tree does well in a Calgary backyard. Any apple tree recommendation for Calgary would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

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donna_in_sask

I don't think Honey Crisp would be hardy enough for you - I think they are a terrific apple though. I actually bought a HC apple tree (here in Saskatoon!) but took it back after reading about its hardiness. It was bred in Minnesota and is hardy to zone 4, so with winter protection it might be okay, but there are lots of hardier varieties. My sister in law loves her September Ruby apple tree and she lives in a similar zone to Calgary. You know you need another apple tree nearby for pollination, right?

I had a Harcourt apple, which looks like a Spartan but it was rather bland and didn't store well. I wish I could remember the variety of my neighbour's tree. The apples looked like gala and made really good pies.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:33AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes, Honey Crisp doesn't do well here, my first pick for eating would be Norkent, it's a late apple but still ripens, it stores at least 2 month. As for a early apple for eating and cooking when picked not over ripe is a very nice apple. It doesn't store long.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 1:32AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Is Norland, ..sorry, I need to go to bed.

I wouldn't worry too much about pollination, most everywhere there are crab apples, if they're within one city block your'e good.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 1:57AM
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beegood_gw

I tried HC and after 2 years of sort of surviving I got one apple which didn't even have enuff time to ripen. I love September Ruby and have a Hardy Mac which is 3 yrs old and is having fruit for the first time. Has had no die back at all so I'm hoping it will be a keeper.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 9:12AM
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shazam_z3

Hardy Mac for sure, it's actually from Calgary.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

There are several Mac species,
hope your Mac will ripen, most have a hard time out of the city.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 8:51PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thank you everyone for your input! This is very helpful indeed. I have given up on the idea of getting a Honeycrisp apple tree already!!!

Norland sounds like a nice choice, though I am wondering if it turns soft too quickly as I really like my apples crispy. How does it compare to September Ruby for flavour and texture please?

Also, I read a lot about Prairie Magic last night. How does it do in Calgary?

Thanks again everyone - really appreciate your expertise!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 1:27AM
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don555(3a)

Well I'm a big fan of September Ruby. My 20 year-old tree is 10-12 feet tall, so this isn't a space-hog like some varieties can be. The taste is a bit like a red delicious, but not quite like that and not as dry as that. And if picked slightly under-ripe, it stores forever in the fridge -- I have kept them in the crisper until March (softening, but not unlike store-apples at that time of year).

The downside of Sept. Ruby is that it has a strong tendency to fruit very heavily one year, then almost no fruit the next year. Last year was the no-fruit year for my tree; this year it is absolutely loaded and will need thinning to prevent branches from breaking (which has been an issue in years past).

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 4:22AM
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CLBlakey

I wish I had seen this info last year before I planted mine I guess I'll find out if I get apples this year as it did have lots of flowers. Costco had it listed as a zone 3

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 6:20PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Hi everyone,

I went to a couple of garden centres today to look at apple trees.

The only caliper apple trees that I could find were Harcourt. Many varieties though with potted trees. I found some very nice and big Norland trees in 15G pots. They looked lovely! However, no Prairie Magic though.

I also found some September Ruby too, but they were not as big as the Norland trees.

How do September Ruby and Norland compare, in terms of flavour and crispy texture?

Is there anywhere that I can find caliper Norland or September Ruby around Calgary please?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:35PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Norland picked at the right time is more juicer & crisp with better falvour then Sept. Ruby I.M.O. It reminds me of the Grafenstein apple in flavor and texture, gets soft early,..in a matter of one week, if picked about a week before full ripe, it stay's crisp and stores 2 month. It's the best early apple.

Several weeks later ripens the September Ruby and Norkent, Norkent is more crisp and stay's crisp allot longer then Sept. Ruby.

Norkent

I juice all my Sept. Ruby, fruit set is good one year [loaded], nothing the other year, should be thinned out to one or two apple, in this cluster [picture], then you can get fruit every year.

Norland, spaced nicely apart without thinning, at this stage of color right off the tree they are nice with a slight acid tang, ...as I said, good for cooking. If you don't like the tangy taste, then the Norkent would be better, it's got a nutty taste.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:23AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Konrad, thank you so very much for this very helpful post with these great photos! Now let me go and look for Norland or Norkent! (unless I find this Prairie Magic!!!!!)

THANK YOU!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 3:22AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Prairie Magic is a cross between Goodland and Mantet, Goodland beeing tart and good for cooking, If you like a tarter apple this is one for you.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:51AM
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shazam_z3

Eagle Lake sells caliper trees.

http://www.eaglelakenurseries.com/Products-and-Services/Retail-Catalog/index.php?pn=7

Phone first though, they supply virtually everyone in Southern Alberta so they might not have any.

Also try Blue Grass.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:02PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, Shazam and konrad.

I am now looking for a Norkent, but most places don't have them though.

Spruce It Up has some nice looking Norlands in 15G pots.

I am not sure about Blue Grass - when I went there a couple of weeks ago, their trees looked like a disaster - so dried up and unhealthy! Eagle Lake is quite far away.... in any case, no one is picking the phone there... sigh!

Hopefully, I can find a decent sized Norkent now.... thanks!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 5:20PM
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beegood_gw

Ok Konrad all these apple types all sound good. But what I want is a good sweet early eating apple. Which one would you suggest. ? TIA

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 7:15PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Konrad, do you find that year after year, Norkent is as reliable a fruit producer as Norland? I also read the Norland bears fruit even as a young tree. Does Norkent do the same too and bear fruit even as a young tree?

Thanks for all your apple wisdom! :-)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Beegood,..have you tasted Norland, it's the earliest one and I find it fairly sweet.

Ostrich, I find both the same, they both set out one year a bit but still have some fruits on, not as heavy, they both bear early,..about at the same age. It would be good to put two trees in, a early and late one. Apple trees don't grow large in our harsh climate, you can plant them very close.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:28AM
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beegood_gw

Thanks Konrad. Will have to go look for one in a small enuff pot so I can carry it and also dig the hole and plant it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:24AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

konrad, now you are tempting me! :-) Yes, maybe I need both.... hmm.... let me think about that, but you really got me thinking now!

BTW, konrad, is Norkent so late that sometimes the fruit does not mature before it gets too cold around here?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 8:55PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I grow Norkent for at least 10 years and they always ripened, sometimes you get a little frost, apples can take minus 3C. or so not to worry, ...then you migth get another 2 weeks to finish them off, usually by the first drop it's time to pick.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:22AM
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northernmn(3/4)

Are all of the trees being discussed on standard size root stock like Annacova (sp) or something similar?

I have been planting about 20ft apart. Could I plant closer without affecting fruit production?

Konrad: Great pictures (as always). It's always nice to be able to see a really good picture of a fruit tree in production that you are considering planting

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Arrowwind

I just put in a honeycrisp. It was labled as zone 3. Now Im worried it may not make it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 5:34PM
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CLBlakey

I feel for you Arrowwind I planted mine last year it survived but I don't know if it will get fruit time will tell. I am hoping the longer days here will make up for the shorter season. Mine was labeled zone 3 as well (bad Costco!!)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 6:03PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

konrad, I just got a nice Norkent in a 15 gallon pot! It just came in this week at the garden centre and I am pretty happy with it. Thank you for all your help!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:26PM
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Collin001

Konrad,

Down the block there is a Norland apple. I've observed over the years the apples are ripe usually in the 2nd week of August, say Aug. 10-15or so. How does the ripening time compare with your location? Earlier? Later, or about the same?

And if I may ask, when is the approximate time the Norkent ripens? Second week of Sept?

Thanks

Collin

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Norland is ready in about another week or two here,.. it varies with weather conditions, we had some good heat waves which we missed last year, so this year Norland will be about 2 weeks earlier then from last.

Picture from last year, [acreage].. Aug. 21, Norland are ready.

..

This Norkent from last year, picked some ready one's [in town] Sept. 7, .. needs another 10 day's or so on the acreage.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:32PM
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Collin001

Thanks for the information Konrad!

I agree, the heat waves are pushing the apples to ripen earlier this year. After inspecting some half ripened apples today I think they will be coming due in another 6-7 days. Problem is the apples which are most ripe are attracting wasps. They are damaging the apples. As it is not my tree I'm not sure if the owner will feel compelled to take action.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:21PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

How is your city in apple maggots, I know Edmonton has it for many years and now here in Beaumont I had the first sign last year. Perhaps you get to taste some Norland,...have you ever tasted them? They're nice right off the tree.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 1:19AM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Morning everyone, Konrad, how old are your trees? I planted a Norland for my son when he was born 8 years ago and it finally has apples this year, but they are nowhere close to being ripe yet. I planted a Kerr and a Prairie magic for my niece and nephew last year (they were about 6 ft trees)not expecting much from them for a couple of years yet, just happy they survived the winter. This year I planted a Parkland for my daughter (the cows took out her tree, so she insisted I replace it with something) good excuse for me. And I planted a Battleford for one gramma and a Colette for another (which I know nothing about it was just a great shape) they were all about 6-7 footers. Do you have any of these? My gramma made great pink apple juice for us when we were kids, I would love to do the same.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 9:04AM
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Collin001

That is a very good question. In past years most of the damage either occurs from blackbirds or robins who like to poke the fruit with their beaks. None of the people in my neighbourhood spray their trees as they don't eat the fruit. It is considered a nuisance.

I tasted the Norland fruit last year for the first time and was struck by how sweet it was. Good apple crisps and strudels but in pies I like more tartness. Very little sugar was needed to get sweeten Norland apples to make apple sauce. In fact you can eat it quite easily unsweetened.

I took a couple of shots of the tree, the leaves look okay but the bark looks stretched and exposed to me for some reason. I have little experience with apples so I can't tell health from looking at the bark.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

bdgardener, the Norland I planted out on the acrage about 20 years, I got it from Millcreek nursery, it was root bound terribly in the pot but it took nicely without disturbing/open up the rootsytem.

The Norkent I grafted about the same time onto a seedling.
Kerr should make pink juice, I don't have this one,...got all the others.
Parkland is a smaller apple and more tart then Norland, ripens about the same time, I juice this one. Battleford is getting soft early, doesn't have much juice, ..have one tree, the top half I grafted over to Sept. Ruby.
Colette makes the best pie, a apple with white flesh and doesn't brown easy. It takes a long time to establish,...slow growing tree but it's worth the wait.

Collin, that looks like a healthy tree, the trunk is fine, bark is scaling a bit due to sun scolding, nothing to worry about.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 1:45AM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Thanks for the info Konrad, by the way my son thinks your orchard is Awesome!!!!! so be very proud he is one of those kids that doesn't get excite very easily. Cheryl

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 8:18AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

You very welcome Cheryl!
I'm glad your son likes it,..looks like you're half way there with yours and perhaps getting a big help, or in the future? If he needs any advise I'll be glad to help, ...thanks for the comment!

It will be a terrific year if the hail stay's away, last year I got it twice.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:43AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I probably waited too long to pick Norland this year, I wanted to see how long I can keep them on and still have them crisp, surprisingly all on the tree are, except some fallen down one's I don't care,..I need some for porcupine in the hopes they don't climb the tree and ripping down branches, deer love them too.
I finished picked all early one's including Harcourt, some Trailman and Carrol.

Sugar level should be up by keeping them on longer, the Norland in full sun makes a nice marble texture, I will juice them tomorrow.

.

Norland

.

The red one's are Norland, light one's are Norkent, others are Sept. Ruby, needs another 2 weeks.


.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:58AM
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Collin001

That last picture is quite a site Konrad! One day I hope to recreate that here.

Speaking of which apple maggot was at an all time high this year. Every crab in the neighbourhood was a write off. And there was 50% damage to the Norland I picked this year. Hopefully there is a way to treat that so next year is a little more productive.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:30PM
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RameaIsland

I planted a HoneyCrisp last year in my backyard in Calgary and I have at least a dozen good sized apples on it this year. I bought it at Superstore for $45. Hoping to yield more next year.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:24PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

WOW! Konrad, these photos are such a treat! Thank you so much!

I do have a couple of questions please:

1. Do the Norkent apples get to be as red as the Norland apples too, when they are ripe?

2. How old are these apple trees? They are a pretty decent but still compact size, so I am curious as to how old they are.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:21AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

RameaIsland, I saw some nice little Honeycrisp apple trees selling for $45 each at Superstore this year too!

Would you mind posting some photos of your tree please? Do you have it planted in a protected location?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:23AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you Collin & Ostrich

1. Do the Norkent apples get to be as red as the Norland apples too, when they are ripe?

No, see the very first picture on top, ready to pick,..you'll be surprised how they taste!

2. How old are these apple trees? They are a pretty decent but still compact size, so I am curious as to how old they are.

These are over 20 years old from seed, ...I grew the seeds for 2 to 3 years before grafting. I took mostly crab apple seeds.

Collin
Apple Maggots are not easy to control unless you spray about every two weeks apart.
I'm still lucky, most are still clean,....I might have seen a handful this year.
A good clean up is in order, discard all fallen fruits, [not in compost pile]
If the neighbor doesn't do it then it doesn't help much.

Some people bag each apple when about marble size, you could wrap several branches with row cover, similar to this picture, I have done some, not for the maggot fly but for protection of hail,..it was just a test but I was lucky, not much hail this year.

For the apple maggot fly you need to close off everything tight.

Carrol Apple

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 2:38AM
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RameaIsland

Here you go Ostrich. See, I haven't even taken the price tag off of it yet it's so young...: ) I have it planted in the NE corner of my yard where it is protected for the most part...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 5:53PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, Konrad! I cannot believe that you grew these lovely trees from seeds!!! That is just impressive...!

RameaIsland, that is a very healthy and happy looking tree! Congrats - how do the apples taste? I love the flavour of Honeycrisp... maybe I will just get one from Superstore next year!!!!!! Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

We had a extremely hot summer which is needed to ripen out Honey Crisp,...looking good! I think it needs another week or two.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 2:33AM
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april9(3a)

April from Edmonton.My area have apple maggots too.The tree (Carrol and Trailman)behind the house is fine but the Honey Crisp (planted between two houses)is affected by the apple maggots.Some not all of the apple are bited by the bugs. I got my tree from Amanda about 10years ago. I' m thinking to bag all my apple next year.It is a shame to lost my apple to the apple maggots.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:45AM
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goldenheights

some honeycrisp grown in Rocky Mtn. House.They have wintered well here for the past 5 years.The apples are late to ripen some time early October

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:00PM
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