What Does a Honeycrisp Apple Tree Look Like?
The tree foliage is green with white blossoms, the apple itself is red blushed with some yellow, and the apple’s white flesh is crisp and juicy. Honeycrisp apple trees reach a height of 14 to 18 feet and a width of 12 to 15 feet at maturity. The average apple is between 2.5–2.75 inches in diameter, but some apples can grow to be more than three inches in diameter.
Growing Conditions for a Honeycrisp Apple Trees
Here are the optimal growing conditions for Honeycrisp apple trees:
Sun and Shade
Honeycrisp apple trees require about eight hours of direct sunlight every day. This sunlight is especially important in the morning to dry the dew from the leaves, which will help reduce the spread of diseases and kill fungi and bacteria.
You should plant your tree in well-drained soil, specifically loam soil. Loam soil is mostly made of sand and silt with a little clay. The pH of the soil should be between 6.0 and 7.0, meaning a slightly acidic or neutral pH soil is best.
You can maintain tree growth by applying fertilizer annually during the spring. The best type of fertilizer to use is one with high levels of nitrogen because that promotes plant and leaf growth and a vivid green color in leaves. One potential nitrogen-rich fertilizer grade is 10-10-10.
Fertilizer grades are broken into their primary ingredients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The 10-10-10 grade means that the fertilizer is 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium.
Honeycrisp apple trees should be watered regularly to keep the roots moist. When temperatures are high, which is typically between May and October, you should aim to water your tree daily. Hold the watering can over the base of the tree to allow for the water to penetrate seven inches down into the root system.
Ideal Hardiness Zones
The Honeycrisp apple tree grows best in cold hardy zones 3 and 4, which have average annual minimum temperatures between -40 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the plants can still survive in grow zones 6 and 7, which have warmer climates.
How to Plant a Honeycrisp Apple Tree
The best time to buy and plant a Honeycrisp apple tree is in the spring or fall when the ground is cold but not frozen. Honeycrisp apple trees are typically bought as bare root trees, meaning that the tree was grown in the ground, pulled out while it was dormant, shaken free of soil, and stored in a container with moist material. This is the easiest way to transport an already growing tree.
Once you have a tree in your possession, here’s how you would go about growing it:
- Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the root ball, leaving a cone of soil in the center.
- Adjust the height of the cone so that the crown—where the trunk meets the roots—sits at soil level.
- Fill the hole up halfway with soil and then continue filling the hole, pushing down on the soil to eliminate any holes.
- Create a trench around the tree with a radius of two inches from the trunk.
- Use this trench to thoroughly water the tree. Avoid overwatering the trench—the tree should not be in standing water.
If properly planted and maintained, you will see your first apples in two to five years for dwarf Honeycrisp apple trees and seven to eight years for full-size trees. Note: white blossoms on your tree should appear during April, and the apples themselves will be ripe and ready to pick by September.
Full-size Honeycrisp apple trees that have been properly cared for typically live between 35–45 years. If you buy a smaller Honeycrisp tree from a nursery, the tree will likely have a shorter lifespan of 20 to 25 years.
Tolerance and Susceptibility
Honeycrisp apple trees are disease-resistant, especially to scab disease, which creates olive green and brown spots on fruits, leaves, and branches. However, young Honeycrisp trees are susceptible to fire blight, which will cause a reddish, watery liquid to ooze from the affected branches and blacken the fruits.
This type of tree is also susceptible to fly speck, sooty blotch, and mildew fungi. Fly speck presents as a group of five or more round black specks that resemble flies, sooty blotch creates black or brown blotches ¼ inch in diameter or larger around the apple, and mildew presents as a thin, white coating on the apples.
There aren’t insects or animals that are specifically attracted to Honeycrisp apple trees, but apple trees in general are prone to attacks from certain types of wildlife. Insects like aphids and mites can attack leaves, while codling moths can attack the fruit. Small-to-medium sized animals like possums, squirrels, racoons, and foxes, may also steal the apples from your tree for food.