How To Grow Honeycrisp Apple Tree

Publish Data: August 9, 2021

by Mumtahina Piya

Honeycrisp apple is one of the most trouble-free apple varieties to grow in your backyard. I didn’t believe that until I grew some of them in my backyard the previous year. I am here to share those handy tips and tricks for cultivating the Honeycrisps in your backyard.

Honeycrisp apple is a hybrid of Macoun and Honeygold apple cultivars. The difficult growing conditions and less production of this apple variety make it expensive. However, it is a favorite apple variety of most people because of its high-quality apple. The ripe apple is super crunchy, sweet flesh with a little bit of tart flavor. This popular apple variety has longer storage life too!

That’s why the growing demand for these fruit trees is high despite those hardships. So, let’s dig deeper to know how to grow a Honeycrisp apple tree!

Honeycrisp Apple Tree
Mashed / YouTube

Table of Contents

Conditions to grow Honeycrisp apple tree

Like any other typical tree, this apple tree also needs sun, temperature, water, fertilizer, soil, and a little bit of care! Besides this, you have to use a pollinator to get plenty of apples. Well, I am going to give you all the details about the needs and growing conditions. So, don’t worry! Let’s move forward.

Condition 01: Direct sunlight

These fruit trees need direct access to sunlight for at least 8 hours per day. It especially needs the morning hours sun the most to dry out the foliage. The wet leaves caused by the dew can invite some disease or fungi.

Condition 02: Pollinator

Honeycrisp trees are unable to do self-pollinating, and so they need some pollinators around them. You can plant some other varieties of apple trees like Fuji, Golden Delicious, and red delicious. Their hardiness zones and plant sizes are kind of similar to Honeycrisp variation.

Condition 03: Tree spacing

The dwarf variation of Honeycrisp grows at least 15 feet tall and wide, and the semi-dwarf variety grows up to 20 feet in both height and width. So, it is better to maintain a gap of 15 feet among two dwarf crisp apple trees and 20 feet for the semi-dwarf one.

Besides that, you have to plant the pollinators too. So, put the pollinators within a distance range of 50 feet, but it is better to keep them at a distance of 15 to 20 feet.

Condition 04: Soil

The ideal soil type for this tree is loamy soil. Light clay or sandy loam soil will also do the job if the soil can drain the water properly. So, no matter what type of soil you choose, it must have a fast-water draining quality. Besides that, the pH of the soil should be between the ranges of 6.0 to 7.0.

Condition 05: Fertilizer

It is better not to apply any fertilizer during winter or fall. Apply it annually in spring only after the soil gets warm enough. You can use some nitrogen-based fertilizer that can help to grow the plant and greener leaves. You can even apply some compost or other organic fertilizers if you want.

Condition 06: Ideal Climate and temperature

The cool climate is the ideal climate for growing crisp apples. The hardiness zone for growing Honeycrisp is 3 and 4. The appropriate temperature for plant growth should be between -40 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. But it can also thrive in warmer climates. The areas should be under the hardiness zones 6 and 7, where the temperature ranges can be -10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Condition 07: Watering

The newly planted tree’s water demand is different than the established apple tree. So here I am mentioning both of them for you.

Water for a newly planted tree

Water frequently straight for three months after planting. You have to keep the soil moist around the root ball. Apply water directly on the root ball soil. But don’t do overwatering! Also, you can spread some mulch covering 2 or 3 inches of space surrounding the root ball. Besides that, keep the ground grass and weed-free for about one foot around the main branch of the tree.

Water for an established plant

Once the plant is well established after a few months of planting, you can water it by checking the soil. Water it when the upper three to four inches of the soil surface becomes dry. Apply water 6 inches far away from the main branch or near the outer edge of the roots. For the first two years, apply water until one and a half feet depth of the soil is soaked. Gradually, increase the wet area’s depth to two and a half feet for the third year and three feet for the fourth year.

Four easy steps for planting and growing Honeycrisps

The best time for planting these apple tree varieties is during spring or fall. During these seasons, the soil remains in better condition without a freeze and with a cold temperature. So let’s know how you can plant and grow a crisp apple tree.

Step 01: Prepare the land!

First of all, you have to select the perfect loamy soil spot with sun exposure and proper aeration. After that, dig a hole two times wide and two times deep than the root ball. Next, place a cone on the center of the ground inside the hole. Adjust the height of the cone at a point where the trunk and root meet. Now start filling the down half of the hole with soil by pressing the soil downside.

Step 02: Bring the tree!

Once you are up with the location, it’s time for planting. But the question is what you will plant, right? Well, you can buy Honeycrisp bare-root trees from your nearby local garden center or nursery.

These bare-root trees are grown on the ground but pull out during their non-growing periods. Then clear the soil of roots and store it in a container. So, you can buy that as growing this tree from seeds or seedlings is quite time-consuming and tiring!

Step 03: Plant the tree!

When you bought the tree, plant it inside the hole and fill it with soil without leaving any hole. Once you have planted the tree, leave two inches gap from the trunk on the ground and make a small furrow tunnel surrounding the tree. You have to use this tunnel for watering evenly, as you can’t water the main stem directly. Don’t do overwatering. Otherwise, your plant might be standing in water that we don’t want.

Step 04: Take care of your tree!

Diseases and Pests: For excessive growth of the tree, you have to ensure the proper growth conditions of the tree. If you want to grow mature trees, you have to work for it. Honeycrisp is a disease-resistant variant. Its resistance to apple scab disease makes it a more demanding variety.

However, flyspeck, sooty blotch, and mildew fungi can attack the plant. Besides this, Honeycrisp trees are not prone to insects or pests though some aphids, mites, or codling moths may attack the trees sometimes. Also, some small animals like squirrels, raccoons may appear near your trees in winter to have those young leaves, barks, or fruits.

Hence, you can use a pest control spray on the tree or some repellent whenever the pests attack your tree. Along with this, arrange a small fence around the tree in winter to protect it from small animals.

Regular Care: Besides this, for the first two years, pick all the flowers from the tree during spring. Pick them off evenly by hand so that no single branch is leaving behind. If you let the flowers grow at an initial age, the tree will not have good growth. During the third year, leave a small number of flowers that can produce some piece of fruit.

Then in the fourth year, let all the flowers grow into apples, and during spring, some premature apples might drop naturally to reduce the branch’s burden. After the drop-out session, check how many apples are left. If there is more than one piece of fruit per spur, remove them also. That will ensure fruit growth and perfect fruit size.

Moreover, don’t forget to remove the dead branches from the tree. Make some gap between two tree branches for good air circulation and sunlight access. In addition, water after checking the soil moisture.

Few last words for you!

Growing Honeycrisp apple is a difficult task, and at the same time, it is easy. Honeycrisp is a delicate tree that needs the right temperature, climate, soil, and so on to grow. But you can manage those if you know the right amount and right time for everything. That’s why I have shared all the details about growing Honeycrisp in your backyard. Hopefully, this information will help you with the growing process of these dwarf apple trees, and after 3 to 4 years, you may enjoy a bountiful harvest of Honeycrisps!