Saturday, January 23, 2010

Honey Crisp Apple

Be among the first to enjoy this delicious, new, patented variety from the University of Minnesota! A large, round, scarlet red fruit with a yellow background, Honeycrisp™ is very crisp, juicy, and flavorful. Honeycrisp™ ripens in early September and can be stored for several months in cool storage. It grows and colors best in the Northwest and other northern regions of the U.S.

Latin Name: Malus pumila
Class: Apples
Size at Maturity: 8-12 ft.
Rootstock Description: M-26 is considered a dwarf rootstock. Apple trees on M-26 typically grow 8-12 ft. in height and are usually spaced 8-12 ft. apart. Crabapples, Columnars, Espaliers, and Combination Apples will likely be smaller. M-26 induces early bearing, usually in 2-3 years after planting. M-26 grows well in most soils, except very wet and poorly drained ones. On windy sites, trees grafted on M-26 may need staking.
Pollination: All apples need another variety for pollination. Neighboring trees often offer sufficient pollen for good fruit set.
Pests & Diseases: All apples, except those that are described as disease resistant, can be affected by Apple Scab. Apple Scab is especially a problem in regions with wet springs, like we have in the Pacific Northwest. While it doesn’t seriously affect the eating quality of the fruit, it can cause black spots on the apples and foliage. Apple Scab can be controlled by sulfur and other sprays. Pests such as Codling Moth and aphids can also damage apples or the foliage of apple trees. See our Sulfur and Codling Moth traps in the Supplies section.
Hardiness: Most apples are hardy to minus 30ยบ F or below
Bearing Age: 2-3 years after planting.
Bloom Time: April
Ripening Time: Early September
Yield: 30-50 lbs.
USDA Zone: 4
Sunset Western Zone: 1-9, 14-16
Sunset Northeast Zone: All zones

As described by the nursery, One Green World where it was purchased.

Formerly Minnesota #1711 (US plant patent #7197) by the University of Minnesota, a cross of Macoun x Honeygold. It is a large apple with at least 50% red color over yellow background. A reliable annual bearer that blooms in early to mid-season. This is a sleeper and had been acclaimed by testers across the nation, and not just from north of USDA zone 4.

Honey Crisp, like all Minnesota apples, was tested for many years and, as of this writing (1995) may be suggested for USDA zone 3 (northern Minnesota), at least for trial. I suggest testing in zones 4 - 8 and protected zone 3 on a cold hardy root stock in zones 3 or 4 (not the Malling series). Pick fruit around Sept. 10-15 in Minnesota.

Many nurseries have been granted the rights to propagate it; some known to me are Bailey Nurseries, Start Bros. Nurseries, and Burchell Nursery. Available in 1995/1996. In the "very good" class.

(Suggested for USDA zones 4-8)
This rootstock was derived from a cross of M.9 and M.16. M.16 had been named the Ketziner Ideal in Germany and was known to be very cold hardy. This cold hardy trait persisted in M.26. M.26 is the only commonly grown Malling rootstock to survive the frequent severe test winters at the University of Minnesota, such as the one in 1983/84, but it does have its limits.

M.26 produces a tree that is 15-20% larger then those on M.9 in the same soils and climates. One must be careful with certain vigorous triploid cultivators on this root as they become shockingly large, especially Gravenstein, Mutsu, Baldwin and Holstein. On the other hand, when the heavily fruiting triploid Jonagold is grafted to M.26, the tree size is medium, but i use minimum nitrogen and bend the leader over to restrict size.

M.26 rootstock should not be free standing the first five to seven years, or too many trees fall over or lean badly, unless one is willing to defruit them for some years and keep them growing very straight. Because M.26 roots tend to make certain cultivars grow in a crooked configuration, it is difficult to keep them growing straight during any time frame. Most of the small commercial orchardists I work with prefer to us the trellis.

Disease resistance varies. In eastern North America M.26 is sensitive to tomato ring-spot virus, which is transmitted in soils infested with the dagger nematode. The virus affects the graft union, usually killing the tree, and is called brown-line decay or apple union necrosis. In poorly drained soils that occasionally puddle, it is susceptible to collar rot (Phytopthera cactorum) an other Phytopthera species. Although it does not sucker, the root is susceptible to fireblight. In those areas with this bacterial disease, M.26 rootstock should not be used, and M.7A is a better choice.

Cultivatars on M.26 rootstock are quite susceptible to drought and I would not use it in any areas depending on variable summer rainfall, unless supplementary irrigations has been supplied.

Here in the Willamette Valley we summer irrigate almost all apple rootstocks so M.26 has proven to be an outstanding performer, giving very high production. It seems easy to care for on a trellis as we do not have fireblight to worry about, and apple union necrosis has not been detected in this area. EMLA.26 is a virus-free clone.

Source: Apples for the 21st Century by Warren Manhart. pp189-190 pp220/221

Other apples to consider if I ever get room for more trees: Elstar, Spitzenberg, Braeburn and Newtown.


M. M. Justus said...

Honeycrisps are my absolute favorite apple. I hope yours grows and prospers.

Stefaneener said...

We've been eating them out here for a while. yum!