Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Grow Honeycrisp Apple Trees

Honeycrisp apples are popular apples due to their beautiful coloring as well as their sweet and exceptionally crisp texture, ideal for eating fresh or for cooking. Honeycrisp apples were produced in 1960 during a breeding program at the University of Minnesota, where they cross-pollinated Macoun and Honeygold apples. The apples are hybrid, so they cannot be reproduced from seed. You can grow these in your backyard if you have the right conditions, typically in the Northern states of the United States.

Get your license to grow the apple tree. It is a protected plant and can only be grown by people who have the license to grow it. According to James J. Luby and David S. Bedford from the Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota, firms or individuals desiring to propagate and sell trees of Honeycrisp apples must apply for a license from the University of Minnesota, Office of Patents and Licensing, Suite 201, 1100 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415-1226.

Order your trees from either the University of Minnesota or a licensed distributor of the tree. You will need to order more than one for proper pollination. Typically, this is done in the late winter or early spring while the trees are dormant.

Select a site that gets full sun, away from any fences or low areas where the air flow might be impeded. Apple trees need good air circulation. Make sure you remove all the weeds within a four-foot diameter of the tree since they will compete for the nutrients in the soil. Choose an area with good water drainage as well, so the roots don't sit in wet soil.

Dig a hole at least twice as wide as the root ball and at least two feet deep. Work any soil amendments in to the removed dirt using a wheelbarrow for mixing. Place the tree in the hole and spread out the roots. Add a layer of dirt and tamp it gently to make good contact between the roots and soil. Continue to add the rest of the soil, tamping it down as you go until the hole is filled.

Water the tree well for the first few weeks, but do not add any fertilizer until the tree is well-established. Prune the tree and spray with horticulture oil while it is dormant. Keep the weeds away from the base of the tree. After five to six years of growth, you should be harvesting apples.

Garden Guides