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Even though it’s often the most expensive apple at the grocery store, the Honeycrisp apple has achieved nearly cult status—it’s that good! This extra-juicy, super-sweet treat is the ultimate healthy, guilt-free snack, and when you grow a tree at home, you’ll get to have your fill and not spend a fortune at the supermarket. Why are Honeycrisp apples so expensive? A major reason is because their skin is thin, and they bruise easily in shipping, but when you grow a Honeycrisp Apple Tree in your backyard, you’ll only have to transport the fruit from the tree to your taste buds. At most, you’ll transport the fruit to your refrigerator, so that each juicy bite of this incomparable apple will become even more refreshing.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-7
- Spacing: 12-15'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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The Honeycrisp Apple Tree originated at the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station in 1960. Plant breeders there were working on developing new varieties of Apple Trees that could endure the rigors of northern winters. Honeycrisp’s parents were recorded as Macoun, a McIntosh relative, and Honeygold, a previous U of M introduction. However, in a daytime TVtalk show twist, genetic testing in 2004 revealed that neither Macoun nor Honeygold were actually the parents. A Minnesota Apple called Keepsake was determined to be one of the true parents; the other parent remains unknown and has never paid child support. Honeycrisp was patented in 1988.
The Honeycrisp harvest lasts a relatively long time, as this variety doesn’t ripen its fruits all at once. The extended harvest time is another pain for commercial apple producers, who would rather pick once and be done for the season, but it’s perfect for home growers, who usually prefer to have their harvest spaced out.
How to Grow
The Honeycrisp Apple Tree is surprisingly disease resistant and easy to please, and because it comes from Minnesota, you know it’s tolerant of the worst winter weather you can throw at it. However, all Apple Trees potentially have issues with diseases and pests and should be monitored carefully for indications of problems. Proper siting and good hygiene will go a long way towards keeping your tree healthy. Plant Honeycrisp in a sunny, open, well-drained site and provide regular irrigation. Prune to let light and air into the canopy. You may need to thin the fruits, as this variety has a tendency to overproduce. You will also need another suitable Apple Tree, such as Gala or Golden Delicious, or a Crabapple, such as Prairie Fire or Indian Magic, to pollinate your Honeycrisp.
Questions & Answers
Q: How big will this Tree grow?
A: We grow Gala Apples on a semi-dwarfing rootstock (S-M7). This will give you an apple that will grow 12-15' in height and width before pruning to form. You can expect a substantial harvest in 3 to 5 years using this rootstock, or about 3 years after planted at your home.
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Size A Trees:
5-6’ tall. Grown and shipped in our #7 fruit tree container. You can expect fruiting in your very first year! Pruned for fruit production. The hard work has been done for you, time to enjoy.
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