Reviews for Stark Honeycrisp crosses?

Hi! Does anyone have any reviews for any of the Honeycrisp crosses from Stark Bros? I’d love to know more about them!

Also, why are they not recommended for zone 8? I live in Washington and thought we were supposed to be a great place to grow apples. I am a newer fruit grower but I’ve had great luck with all the apple trees I’ve grown so far. We love our regular honeycrisp and would like another similar apple but their website says it’s not recommended for my zone…?

Thanks in advance!

My guess on why it is not recommended for your zone is chill hours. Some of these varieties have insane chill hours like around 1000. The higher the zone typically the lower the chill hours. Phionix AZ only has around 300 chill hours in zone 9 while my state of Colorado which is adjacent from the gets thousands for example. Stark Bros are well known for patent holding of good varieties. They held the patents for the Stark Donut Peach as well as the Red delicious which still holds it’s own weight today although seen as overhyped. It is worth while to mention the trees they sell while healthy looking are very young. I just bought 3 Gold Saturn peaches and a animal got into the kennel where I thought it would be safe and was able to easily eat it almost to the ground. Basically all the trees I have gotten there have been twigs. Healthy twigs non the less though.

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I feel like there’s no way it could be a chill hour issue. We get over 3000 chill hours where I live!

the zones are based on lowest winter temp but in this case stark is probably using them as a proxy for chill and summer heat. this works in most of the country but maritime pnw breaks down the relationship, you can safely ignore it

note that Washington state is at least three fairly distinct growing areas: the zero sun, zero heat coast, the sound- or Columbia-affected population centers, and the the east side which is basically an irrigated desert which is one of the best apple and cherry growing regions in the world. if you don’t live on the east side then you’ll have challenges with apple scab, powdery mildew, heat units and sun units, so it’s not necessarily the case that any given apple will grow well. most will, though. look for WSU’s “fruit handbook for western Washington” eb0937


Are you on the east side of your mountain range or just up high. I am zone 6b and probably get around 1400 chill hours. Too many chill hours will allow a tree come out in the middle of winter on a warm spell, your case.

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the sound-affected population centers can get 3k chill at sea level. the sound usually keeps the january/february warm spells from being bad enough to trick apples into breaking dormancy, virtually all apples should grow well other than the problems of low heat/low sun/scab/powdery mildew. the high chill is a set up for warm spells ruining apricots and some other stone fruits though


Thank you!! Off to look up that guide from WSU

Those Stark honeycrisp crosses are fairly new. I don’t think you will get many responses since it appears they have only been released for a couple of years.

Do you have much experience with growing apples? Do you know how to train, prune, and protect the fruit from diseases and insects? The honeycrisp crosses are very new and their disadvantages are not well known (disease weakness, growth habit, cracking, etc.) and what is know is not going to be well documented. In many cases you might be better off planting an established variety where all of these things are known.


Im in the Puget sound region

Eh we have a crabapple and it does not even need to be watered. It kind of just grow. In fact we have many apple trees that just kind of grow in my neighborhood. We have apple in our neighborhood name though which OP may not. Apples are known for their long life cycle. Many apples live for over a hundred to a few hundred years.

You might re-think that post…it sounds incorrect.
Be it 1400 or 3000 chill hours, about all trees break dormancy soon as conditions are right after they have reached their ‘chill hours’ requirements.

Heck, if November is cold and December is hot, some plants that have 300 to 600 chill hour requirements can pop open and start budding. (Then get frozen.)

We’ve been growing fruit trees for about 3 years and have 5 varieties that have done well so far. My husband is a better gardener than me but we make a good team :slight_smile:

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I have not seen a year since I moved here in 1993 that my apple trees failed to produce. Cannot say that about stonefruit, those are more prone to suffer late spring freezes, but not apples.

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To answer your original question, I got some Kinderkrisp from a local grower and I liked it a lot. Smaller and earlier than honeycrisp but similar crunch and sweetness. I’ll probably plant one of I find space.


I planted a few of the Scarlett Crush and Ruby Darling a few years ago. The Scarlet Crush is very similar to the Honey crisp. The taste and texture was good. The Ruby Darling apples get very large.Uploading: IMG_20210916_135426.jpg… Uploading: IMG_20210916_135400.jpg…


How’s the '22 crop looking.?

I’m sure it is a nice apple considering the parent but do keep in mind that Stark bros has a very long history of hyping the living crap out of stuff. In 1893 they ran one of their contests for new apples and the entry that became red delicious won, which came from a chance seedling in Iowa. With great fanfare Stark bros even erected a cage to prevent people from taking branches. I don’t think it is clear that this was necessary but they certainly use it to sell the ‘uniqueness’ of the apple.

From my understanding at the time red delicious was an amazing thing. There was not an apple like it in stores. People claim the red delicious had it’s tasteful characteristics bred out of it over time making it a worse apple. This does not make sense to me because that is not how fruit trees work. A clone is a clone to my understanding. My thoughts are overtime we have gotten better apples through breeding efforts and it is possible like yellow delicious it has started to be picked earlier so you don’t get the true taste. I believe many good crosses today have a red delicious parent involved. Red Delicious and Rawls Janet was responsible for creating the Fuji apple we know and love. Stark Bros has had some good things. The donut peaches are some of the sweetest peaches you can come across. The texture some may not like but the taste is amazing. The first donut peach and likely the most well known donut peach was patented by Stark Bros back before it expired. Maybe the red delicious itself was not the best but you can say it’s genes are godly when it comes to potential of new apples.

It didn’t have the characteristics bred out, but successive sports (genetic mutations on an existing tree) made selections which were more and more early-reddening. So, the growers could pick red apples which were completely underripe, they were like rocks so would ship very well, and then sell them to suckers (ahem, consumers) since they looked like a great apple.


So basically I was correct on my guess. Stark bros picked a good apple variety like they often do with their specifically Stark varieties they have under patent but due to capitalism the farmers discovered they could sell unripe fruit like they do with the golden delicious now too. Going back to my thread I created about different Fuji strains and how many thought the early Fuji strains tasted less sweet overall and the fact that they are using early reddening sports of red delicious you wonder if there should be laws stating they have to disclose the sport. The farmers with red delicious may be forced to going back to the original bud sport with red delicious apples and the Fuji apples would likely be even sweeter with none of the early ripening varieties associated with the later ripening Fuji.