Honey Crisp apples #750041 - Ask Extension

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Honey Crisp apples #750041

Asked May 15, 2021, 9:12 AM EDT

Why doesn't my Honey Crisp apple tree bloom? It was planted 4 years ago it's about 8 feet tall. The first year it produced a few apples The 2nd year it bloomed out with several blooms but the deer ate therm all. Now the last 2 years no blooms. It's in direct sun all day. I lightly fertilize with 10-10-10 every spring. I water it every other week all summer. I have a 7 year old Zestar tree about 15 feet away that blooms out nicely every year. Several crab apple trees in the area in all directions also. Thank you Dennis Greer

Steele County Minnesota

Expert Response

There are many reasons why apple trees do not bloom.  It  can take up to eight years for Honey Crisp apple trees to produce. Depending on what rootstock it was grown on, it may not be old enough. If it was grown on dwarf rootstock you should be able to see the graft union. If you can’t it may be planted too deep and turned into a full sized tree. 

Weather and soil conditions, over fertilization and over-pruning can all contribute.  When over fertilized or over pruned, trees put growth into trunk and branch growth at the expense of fruit.  

Honey Crisp trees can be challenging to grow even for professional growers. The following websites give some factors to consider.  In the end one cause may be hard to pin down.  See:

1. https://extension.psu.edu/home-orchards-why-is-there-no-fruit-on-my-tree

2.  https://polk.extension.wisc.edu/files/2014/02/Why-some-apple-trees-dont-flower.pdf

Marykay Haas Replied May 15, 2021, 5:32 PM EDT

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