What is an appropriate pollinator for the Honeycrisp apple tree? I'm getting mixed messages from various nurseries here in Minnesota.

Gardens & Landscapes April 21, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF
Your Honeycrisp blooms in mid-season and must be pollinated by another mid-season blooming apple tree. Each type of apple tree has a short bloom time in the spring in which the tree must be pollinated, usually by bees. This bloom time lasts about a week for each different type of apple tree. But not all apple trees bloom at the same time. Almost all apple trees bloom within a three- to four-week period in the spring. When your tree is pollinated, you must have another type of apple tree within 500 feet that blooms the same week(s) yours does. So apple trees have been divided into three time frames: early season, mid-season, and late season. Some kinds of apple trees that also bloom mid-season and will pollinate your Honeycrisp are Cortland, Regent, Red Haralson, Red Delicious, Haralred, Gala (blooms early to mid-season), Honeygold, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fireside, and Sweet Sixteen. Not all these apple trees are hardy throughout Minnesota, so check the hardiness zone to see if the tree you select is viable where you live. It takes eight to 10 years for an apple tree to bloom and then fruit. Most of the above varieties fall into that category. Sweet Sixteen, a good, sweet-eating apple, takes longer. In one example, it was 13 years from transplanting to first bloom and fruits but well worth it. For further information on apples for Minnesota, see Apples for Minnesota and Their Culinary Uses. For more on Honeycrisp, see Honeycrisp™ Apple.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.