Honeycrisp not blooming #398549 - Ask Extension

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Honeycrisp not blooming #398549

Asked May 08, 2017, 2:17 PM EDT

Hi, about 12 years ago, I planted a honeycrisp that, in the last 4-5 years, has refused to produce more than about 12-15 blooms each season. The tree is about 12ft x 12ft, is very healthy, and receives full sunlight during the day. About 2 years ago, I quit fertilizing the lawn near the tree because I was concerned this might be the problem. In the photo, the much smaller and younger honeycrisp (on the right) has always bloomed heavily and is a good producer. Any ideas? Thanks, Jeremy

Hennepin County Minnesota

Expert Response

Your larger Honeycrisp probably needs some pruning. It needs to be opened up to allow sunlight and breeze to go through much in the same way it now does with the younger tree. However, these trees cannot pollinate each other. There must be another apple tree (even an ornamental crabapple) in the area which will pollinate the blossoms. It could be that the younger tree is closer to that tree and insects just don't make it to the larger tree with pollen. It is too late in the year to prune your tree now but it should be done in March or so. Here is a link: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/apples-in-home-garden/  In the meantime, check out where the pollen is coming from for your trees.  Maybe you would like to plant a ornamental crabapple in the front yard to provide more pollen for the larger tree.  Also, the fertilizer was not the problem. Either fertilize your trees or the grass in the area. Also be aware that apple trees normally produce a lot of fruit one year and very few the next and so on.
Barbara Harlan Replied May 08, 2017, 8:45 PM EDT
Thanks...actually there's a large Cortland just to the right of the small Honeycrisp that is also a heavy producer. I don't think pollination is the problem...the tree doesn't bloom in the spring and therefore doesn't produce fruit. I'll prune this winter and hope for better luck next year.

The Question Asker Replied May 08, 2017, 9:02 PM EDT

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