Jury still out on the Honeycrisp apple for me

Well I ate my first Honeycrisp apple yesterday from a tree that that I planted in 2011. It had a little insect damage so I ate it early. While It had pretty good flavor, I was not blown away by it. I know that in a couple of weeks that it may improve.

Still not convinced that it will meet the hype that some folks give it.

1 Like

Give them time the apples from the tree will improve with age. The first year I got apples from it I was not impressed. It’s my favorite tree now.

Yep, I hope they improve with age. Going to be a down year for apples for me. Last year I had so many that not only was I giving them away to folks, I was hauling them away to some property I own for the deer. Big Yellow Delicious tree had tons. This year not many set on it. Then the varmints got the apples on it and three other trees.

By the way, that tree has the yellowing of leaves similar to your crabapple tree. I think its just hot weather stress and will be no real consequence. I’ve had that before.

1 Like

It is interesting the waves of wildlife predation of fruit. Just like for you, last year humans were the only life form very interested in fruit. Deer, squirrels (low population) chipmunks, plum curculio, wasps and birds left fruit alone. The deer never even ate the drops and the population seemed normal, unlike with chipmunks and squirrels. This year is a perfect opposite and I’m having to battle all these pests for every pathetic piece of fruit, It is not just because the crop is smaller either.

By the way, Honeycrisp does poorly in my orchard. It rarely reaches highest quality here and often drops off the tree before getting full sugar. Lucky for me, it’s texture doesn’t blow me away enough to make it a favorite apple, even at its best. It is otherwise not very interesting to my jaded palate.

1 Like

I ate a few this last week and as usual they are so juicy and really good. Depending on the soil and weather I think some people just don’t get the same results. I’ve heard ravings of other apples that just are so, so here in my location. Same goes with pears, plums, and peaches… and most plants.

1 Like

Alan, I am curious about the apple varieties you have in your personal orchard. Any experience (in general) with the Cortland apple? Stayman Winesap? Melrose? Think I remember on a post somewhere you favor Jonathon.

I think Honeycrisp caught on because it stayed crisp and was sweet after long commercial storage. most apples at the store are mealy and not worth eating most of the year. So that set a very low bar. I have a Honeycrisp tree in my yard and I am making it over into apples I like better. And there are a lot of apples I like better then HC. Not to mention that HC foliage is a pest magnet

1 Like

I like Honeycrisp enough that I planted a second tree, and I agree completely that location really matters. The only real issue I’ve had with it is it has been biennial. With two trees, I hope to get at least one crop a year of it.

1 Like

I have 4 producing HC trees now. It can be biennial some years. Part of that is my fault for not thinning apples as good as I should.

Same here, Harvestman. I’m having bigtime pest pressure with coons, possums, yellow jackets, wasps, even my pet fox are turning against me and having a merry ole time. Nets and traps are becoming a year long job now.
There are a lot more apples out there so much better than HC, at least what I get from our stores. HC used to be my favorite but the ones I’ve bought lately are small and lacking in flavor.

Maybe its something about this seasons weather – I am also having epic battles for every piece of fruit. The deer are getting many of my low-hanging peaches and apples, and wave after wave of squirrels is showing up. I hope this is a fluke year as its taking way too much time to deal with.

1 Like

Of those, all I grow in my own orchard is Stayman. Cortlandt is not dense enough to be favored by my palate although some of my clients like it as do the birds. It gets soft quite quickly in storage like its sister, (not technically) Macintosh. I haven’t tasted Melrose for many years but really liked it when I did. I have some trees in my nursery and I intend to at least graft it to one of my orchard trees. Stayman is a good, reliable apple. I will supply a list of my favorite apples when next I have time, but Goldrush is my staple.


I’ve learned a lot about apples over the last couple of years since starting my orchard. I know there are just as many detractors of HC as there are people that love it. It really is one of the reasons I started planting my own trees when I saw the look on my daughters face when we ate our first tree picked HC from a u-pick orchard 70 miles away from where we live. Those were the single best apples I ever tasted and being they were grown about an hour away from me gave me hope that I could grow something comparable where I live. I’ve got a second leaf HC along with some HC grafted on other trees and none of them have bloomed yet so I cant judge my own apples. I read a lot about people having problems growing HC and weird foliage and things like that. Right now my HC looks very normal. My ugliest apple tree foliage goes to Suncrisp. That is just a weird looking tree.

1 Like

I know there are many on this forum with far more extensive expertise when it comes to apple varieties but I grow 7 varieties of apples and the only one that I chose to have more than one of is HC. It does exceptionally well here in Utah and the fruit is outstanding in flavor, texture as well as storage. I have HC apples upwards of 4 months after harvest that are still far better than anything grown in supermarkets.
I haven’t tried many of the wonderful varieties others have mentioned but I like HC so much that I don’t even feel the need to try adding more

1 Like

Same here. What is the problem with yours? Mine put on nice green growth to start then got all chloritic and curled later in the season. If it had leaf hoppers they were no worse than on other trees, but Suncrisp looks much worse. On the other hand, it is my best looking tree as far as structure goes, but that is partly due to better management.

I bought more nets this year and plan to get even more for next year - squirrels have been just relentless. The young redtail hawks were learning to hunt them yesterday, I was cheering on the hawks

Pretty much the same as what you described. I have several trees I grafted to B9 rootstock last year and Suncrisp is one of them. All of the trees looks rather healthy but suncrisp just looks rather scraggly when compared to the others. They include Williams Pride, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Goldrush. The Suncrisp scions came from a fellow over on GW if I remember correctly. I’ve heard its a great and interesting apple. Hopefully I get next year to sample a few.

I ate a pretty good HC today and was reminded of why it is so popular. No bouquet really, but a perfect acid and sugar balance, nice juiciness and the unique crunch of its oversized cells. It has been a dry summer with lots of hot days. I think too much rain is what makes it mediocre, and perhaps that isn’t such a problem on dwarfing rootstock.

1 Like

I’m trying to figure out when mine should get ripe. According to the ACN chart it is listed about Sept. 10. Of course that in Penn. I am in the Memphis area so don’t know. When ripe does the HC apple get red all over the green or just where the sun can get to it?

We picked some up from an orchard in Paris, KY (near Lexington) last week. Their flyer had August 25 as their “official” harvest date, but I would imagine they’re still picking them. So that’s not as north as ACN, but a bit north of you. So, yours might be close to ready.

As far as color goes, ours mostly are a light green color, with splotches of pink in some areas. Others on here could probably give a better answer, though.

1 Like