Why I grow Honeycrisp


#41

Yes, my two ashmeads seem to of shot out some new leaves also.


#42

Sprtan

Please let us know how the planning and establishment for the U-pick is going. A few people here grow and sell fruit, including myself. Once you decide on variety and rootstocks, better get your order in 2 years ahead of time. Dwarf trees for commercial production are in very short supply and sell out early. Some nursery will custom bud in quantities of 25. A 5/8 inch feathered tree is the perfect tree for high density. Better plan for establishment cost of around 15K/acre with a 10 year payback period.


#43

Thanks blueberry! I was afraid the tree shortage would be an issue. Perhaps I will get only part of it planted for spring 2017 depending on how fast I can get an order in.

My issue currently is spacing. We will be growing them on a trellis system using some form of
M-9 rootstock but not sure I am ready to take the leap in growing apple trees 4’ apart. I have seen it done around here but am amazed by the prospect. Some of the older orchards nearby had apples on wire about 8’ apart but now I see all their new plantings are 4’-5’ apart and the rows very close. It must work as they are doing it on many U-pick sites.

My personal experience over the years was with standard apple trees, M-7, M111 and M106. Also some M-26. While I want the height control that M-9 will give for U-Pick, I am still debating the spacing issue. Any thoughts from anyone reading this about the best spacing for apples on M-9 and why would be appreciated. Not sure if I will plant at 5’ apart or go farther. Time to learn some new tricks despite my age.


#44

Spartan:
I would visit all the orchards in your area, see what you like and ask their opinion.

The high density only pays for itself if everything goes perfectly. 3X12 may be the perfect spacing for NY, but for NC, Pennsylvania and perhaps others, its too dense. Some flavors of M9 are more vigorous than B9 which may be a consideration

I have about 600 Bud9 trees. Some on 3, some on 4 and some on 6 feet with rows about 13 feet apart. On most variety, it looks like 4 feet or about 5 feet between the trees will allow them to fill their space.3 feet is very crowded. I plan to keep the lower scaffolds in place on the 6 foot spacing, rather than renew them like tall spindle.

Unless you can purchase quality feathered trees, you loose a year. In this case, you would be better off covercropping the area and working on getting the soil and nutrient levels perfect while you wait for the perfect tree.

I’m 62 and trying to figure apples out. So far, my apple orchard has been a sinkhole that I throw money in! Its too late to stop and we hope 2016 will be our first good apple year

Appleseed:
Your Honeycrisp look unbelievable! I bet they taste as good as they look.


#45

After four growing seasons, I was due to get my first Honeycrisp apples this year. By mid-July they were already sizing up and ripening nicely - about a dozen apples. We went on vacation for a week, and when we returned they were all gone. I later discovered that a large possum had eaten them. He apparently kept coming back to the Honeycrisps as several other types weren’t touched. I assume they were delicious.

There’s always next year.


#46

Thanks again Blueberry. I may have a talk with a local orchardist who has tall spindle, some semi-dwarfs left (free standing) and some left on wire that appear to be planted about 8’ apart.

Perhaps I will try tall spindle as a test in one row to see if it works well for me at 5’ x 14’ spacing. Your tall spindle spacing echo’s what I heard from a friend who is commercially growing on Bud 9 too. At the moment I am leaning towards M9 planted 8’ x 15’ apart and allowed to grow to its full size. Space is not an issue. The scaffolds will be permanent. I am hesitant to put in 2 acres of tall spindle without trying it first on a smaller scale due to start up costs. I think I will take some baby steps first before plunging in an acre at a time.


#47

I just bought a couple of Honeycrisp at the local super market and I have posted in another Honeycrisp post I don’t get good ones at the super market ever. These are every thing a Honeycrisp are. The right color, sweet and when you bite into it a big chunk comes off with that
Crunch and juice.


#48

John,
Maybe this is just a great year for good flavored apples. We are eating the store bought apples this year and we seldom do that. We have lots of delicious canned pears with cloves spice and honey. It takes a great apple to keep us interested with quality pears like that available.


#49

Jeff, what great photos of your Honeycrisp. Love it!


#50

Here is an interesting new article on the ups and downs of growing Honeycrisp in Australia.

In Australia, they observe occassional internal browning and scald issues.

Unlike in the U.S., bitter pit is typically nonexistent. But, European canker is present.

http://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/apples-pears/ifta-talking-honeycrisp-apples-new-zealand/?amp&__twitter_impression=true


#51

Nice Harvest! Do you know what rootstock that tree is on?


#52

That was New Zealand actualy.

This is the real test of club apples. If in a few years New Zealand grown HoneyCrips apples start having good quality and flavor. It proves that Club’s are superior and the problems everyone complains about are with non club growers not having standards for quality.


#53

Just want to revive this thread. A lot of people like eating Honey Crisp butit seems more forum members get frustrating with growing this variety.

Last week at Wegman’s (one of our large chain supermarket), it was still $3.99 a lbs and they were not even organic HC. It is still customers’ favorite. Other apples there go for $1.99 a lb.

This year, my HC have ripened and dropped 5-8 fruit a day for the past 10 days. I have no room in the fridge to store them so I have not picked the rest.


#54

Prices on apples have dropped very low this year. Some varieties are as low as 77 cents a pound. Honey Crisp are 99 cents at one of the local supermarkets.


#55

My three year old HC finally bloomed, giving me some hope that I may see apples from it one day. None of the blooms took, despite my attempts at hand pollinating it from the Pixie Crunch next to it, but the PC flowers were getting old, so the pollen may not have been good anymore.

The tree really hasn’t done a whole lot over the last three years as it really doesn’t like my climate. The Gala and PC trees have done well growth-wise. The Gala only has a few apples on it but the PC has just under 20 apples which are slowly ripening. The blooming season is extended - there are a few flowers still on the tree - so I have to guess when each cluster has ripened.

I was about to give up on my HC and rip it out, but the blooming has given me new hope. I love a good HC and have learned to avoid the super big ones, they tend to be the most bland.


#56

My HC was planted in 2011. Had a substantial crop in 2016. No apples 2017. This year in had 3 or 4 apples which the varmints got. If it does not do anything next year I’m grafting it something else.


#57

HC is a tendency to go biennial if you do not thin aggresstvely and I meant taking off 80% or more of flowers out.

@JCT, I wonder if your zone is too hot for it. Zone 5-7 seemto be good for this varietty,


#58

I’ve got some huge crops off my honeycrisp trees. I enjoy honeycrisp and have a different philosophy which is to get whatever apples I can when I can from it knowing I may get very few next year. We frequently have a frosty spring so the tree goes biennial regardless. It sounds bad but I have many types of apples and will always get something. Apples such as prairie spy and wickson are fine with me. My Rubinette, gold rush, arkansas Black etc bloomed this year and even set apples but what the freezes didn’t do in the drought did. With 4 honeycrisp trees I get enough apples regardless. Very seldom do I get a good apple year but when I do I can enough cider to last years!


#59

While I respect your experience with the HC tree, when I only have say 10 cluster flowers, I cannot bring myself to thin out 8 of the cluster flowers leaving only 2 cluster flowers. I don’t remember exactly how many flowers I had on my HC tree last spring but I can clearly remember it having a pitiful amount. If I remember correctly, in the spring of 2017 it had zero flowers.

Even when I did have HC apples in 2016, I did not think they met the hype. Based on my experience, the Honeycrisp tree should not be recommended for southern climates.


#60

I’ve enjoyed some Honeycrisp for the firs time in quite a while, cutting around the codling moth on the fruit from my trees.

15 or 16 brix, just enough to be good. The ones from the store here are 10-13 and not worth eating. I wish I could get to around 18 like the first ones I ever had must have been to make them stand out so much (in addition to the texture).